Utah Reports Four Additional Deaths, 669 New COVID-19 Cases; ICUs Hit Utilization Threshold
Jul 16, 2021, 12:53 PM
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health on Friday reported four more Utahns have died due to COVID-19 while another 669 residents have tested positive for the virus.
Currently, 281 Utahns are hospitalized due to the virus and the ICUs at Utah’s 16 referral center hospitals were 85.9% full on Friday.
“When 85% capacity is reached, Utah will be functionally out of staffed ICU beds, indicating an overwhelmed hospital system,” UDOH officials said.
An additional 6,358 vaccine doses have been administered, bringing the state’s total to 2,938,074.
UDOH said over 1.44 million Utahns are now fully vaccinated and over 1.62 million have received at least one dose of a vaccine.
According to UDOH, 12 Utah counties moved back to the “high” transmission level for the first time since March last week, and Utah County made the transition this week.
“This is being driven largely by increasing ICU utilization throughout the state,” officials said. “Too many people are ending up in the hospital, not just from COVID, but from injuries and other illnesses. Our hospitals, and our health care workers, need some relief.”
State health officials said less than 60% of the adult population in 11 of those first 12 counties has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
UDOH also reported 70% of Utahns age 18+ had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of July 4, but issued a correction Monday saying the state didn’t hit that goal due to a misinterpretation of federal data.
“While no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people, Utah data shows the vaccines have been remarkably effective in protecting vaccinated Utahns from COVID-19,” UDOH officials said. “The data also indicates the vast majority of new cases are in unvaccinated people which is driving the recent increase in COVID-19 cases.
“The increase in cases serves as a reminder that we aren’t out of the woods yet, and it remains critical for Utahns to get vaccinated, limit your contact with others who are not part of your usual circle, wear a mask when you can’t physical distance, stay home if you’re sick and wash your hands often.”
For more information, visit coronavirus.utah.gov.
UDOH reports 2,852,401 people have been tested — 4,711 more than Thursday. Of those, 422,619 Utahns have tested positive for COVID-19 — an increase of 669 new cases.
The rolling seven-day average for positive tests was 522 — up from 519 on Thursday and 411 last Friday. On June 1, Utah’s rolling seven-day average was 200 cases.
The rolling seven-day average for percent positivity of “people over people” rose to 13.8% while the rolling seven-day average for percent positivity of “tests over tests” rose to 9.3%.
The state has administered 2,938,074 vaccine doses in total, which is an increase of 6,358 over Thursday’s numbers.
As of Thursday, over 1.62 million Utahns had received at least one dose of a vaccine and over 1.44 million Utahns had been fully vaccinated.
Over 3.3 million vaccines have been delivered to Utah.
Currently, 281 people are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 108 of those people were in intensive care units.
Utah’s ICUs were 82.6% full and the ICU beds in Utah’s referral centers were 85.9% full Friday — above the state’s utilization threshold of 85%.
Friday was the first day since Feb. 11 where hospitalizations had passed the threshold, indicating the state’s hospital systems are “overwhelmed.”
“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.”
To date, the virus has killed 2,413 of the state’s residents. The following four deaths were reported Friday, while one death from Thursday was removed after further examination by the state medical examiner’s office:
- Male, between 25-44, Salt Lake County resident, hospitalized at time of death
- Female, older than 85, Cache County resident, not hospitalized at time of death
- Male, between 45-64, Tooele County resident, resident of a long-term care facility
- Female, between 45-64, Salt Lake County resident, hospitalized at time of death
Removed: Female, older than 85, Salt Lake County resident.
Have you or a family member been affected by coronavirus issues in Utah? KSL wants to hear from you. Contact KSL by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The latest COVID-19 stories from KSL can be found here.
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 unvaccinated Americans should continue wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).