Utah Reports Two Additional Deaths, 309 New COVID-19 Cases
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Department of Health on Thursday said 309 more Utahns have tested positive for COVID-19. That is up 43 cases from last Thursday. For the last ten days, the state has seen daily decreases in week-to-week cases, with that streak of decreases ending today.
Currently, 147 people are hospitalized with the virus – up two from yesterday – and an additional 13.508 vaccines have been administered, bringing the state’s total to more than 2.55 million. UDOH also said over 1.18 million Utahns are now fully vaccinated.
Two additional deaths were reported Thursday. They were a Salt Lake County man, aged 65-84 and a Grand County man, over the age of 85.
In a press briefing today, Governor Spencer Cox pleaded with those putting off vaccines to get vaccinated. He said more than 70 people have died of COVID-19 since January, when the vaccine became available to all Utahns.
“Those are completely preventable deaths. Every single one of them. Conversely, we have not had a single person in the state of Utah die from getting the vaccine,” he said. “And we’ve only had one person die who was fully vaccinated…Every day when we announce new deaths, those are deaths that don’t have to happen”
He also said that of the people eligible for the vaccine–that’s anyone over the age of 12–about 57% of eligible Utahns have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine. And while mass vaccine clinics are beginning to wind down, the vaccine is now more readily available with or without an appointment at neighborhood clinics, pharmacies, and grocery stores.
Dr. Michelle Hoffman, deputy director of the Utah Department of Health also spoke at the briefing and shared data around the vaccines effectiveness. She said since vaccines became available to all Utahns on January first, there have been 120,933 cases in the state. She said 99.5% of those cases were unvaccinated people.
For more information, visit coronavirus.utah.gov.
The state has administered 2,555,978 total vaccines, which is 13,508 more than Wednesday. As of Thursday, the state has administered 2.5 million vaccines, and 1.1 million people are fully vaccinated.
Governor Cox also announced in today’s briefing that about 14% of 12 to 15-year-olds are vaccinated, which is higher than the national average. He also said about 61% of adults have at least one dose and over 50% of adults in the state are fully vaccinated.
Lt. Gov Diedre Henderson reported the number of 12 to 15-year-olds vaccinated in up from 9% last week. She also reported that the number of vaccinated people among the state’s communities of color is still lower than their white counterparts:
- 43.6% of eligible Asian people have received at least one dose
- 39.6% of eligible Hispanic people have received at least one dose
- 25.9% of eligible Black people have received at least one dose
- 24.9% of eligible Native/Pacific Islander people have received at least one dose
That is compared to 52.2% of eligible White people who have gotten at least one dose. She did say these numbers are a bit lower than in weeks past because we have added a new group of eligible people, 12-15-year-olds.
UDOH reports 2,679,455 people have been tested. This is an increase of 4,513 people tested since Wednesday. The rolling seven-day average for positive tests is 245 per day. That is up from 239 on Wednesday.
The rolling seven-day average for percent positivity of “people over people” rose slightly to 6.7% while the rolling seven-day average for percent positivity of “tests over tests” rose slightly to 3.9%.
Currently, 147 people are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19. 53 of those people were in intensive care units, which is a slight decrease from yesterday.
Utah’s ICUs are 74.1% full and the ICU beds in Utah’s referral centers were 76% full Thursday, a slight increase from Wednesday.
“At about 69% overall ICU utilization, ICUs in Utah’s major hospitals with the ability to provide best care for COVID-19 patients begin to reach staffing capacity,” UDOH officials said. “Seventy-two percent use among all hospitals and 77% in referral center hospitals creates major strains on the health care system. When 85% capacity is reached, Utah will be functionally out of staffed ICU beds, indicating an overwhelmed hospital system.”
Two additional deaths were reported Thursday. To date, the virus has killed 2,294 of the state’s residents.
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How do I prevent it?
The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies.)
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