Utah’s COVID case count near 13,000 as hospitalizations reach new high; 7 deaths reported
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health on Thursday said seven more Utahns have died due to COVID-19 and a record 12,990 residents have tested positive for the virus since yesterday.
Of those cases, 3,007 (23.15%) were in school-aged children:
- 797 cases in children ages 5-10
- 659 cases in children ages 11-13
- 1,551 cases in children ages 14-18
A record 638 Utahns are currently in the hospital with confirmed cases of COVID-19, surpassing the previous mark of 608, which was set Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, we can expect numbers this high and possibly higher for the next few weeks as Omicron sweeps through our community,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Leisha Nolen.
Wednesday marked the first time a single-day case count surpassed 10,000 in Utah.
“We have the tools to combat omicron, but they don’t work if people won’t use them. If, for whatever reason, you have been putting off vaccination or getting boosted, it is clearly time for you to act,” UDOH officials said. “Vaccinations and boosters have been shown to reduce cases, hospitalizations and deaths. They are the most important thing you can do to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community.
“Our hospitals are already stretched well beyond their capacity and are canceling procedures. Please, go get your shot! Think about your plans and minimize your exposure to others and when you can’t, put on that mask,” Nolen said.
Dr. Angela Dunn, executive director of the Salt Lake County Health Department, said 5,500 of Thursday’s cases were from the county and 23 additional children have been hospitalized due to COVID-19.
Currently, a record 638 people are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 182 of those people are in intensive care units.
Utah’s ICUs were 88.7% full Thursday and the ICU beds in Utah’s 16 referral centers, where the majority of COVID-19 patients are treated, were 90.5% full — above the state’s utilization threshold or “functionally full” mark of 85%.
Thirty-five percent of Utah’s ICU usage is due to COVID-19 patients. Utah’s ICUs have been above the functionally full mark since Aug. 23.
“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.”
As of Thursday, 4,684,561 vaccine doses have been given in Utah — an increase of 12,214 since yesterday. Over 1.92 million Utahns are now fully vaccinated, over 2.18 million have received at least one dose of a vaccine and 728,615 have received a booster dose.
Over 5.68 million vaccine doses have been delivered to the Beehive State.
The eligible population for vaccinations has changed with the expansion of vaccines to the 5- to 11-year-old age group. The state’s dashboard now includes a breakout of vaccines administered for that age group and booster dose administrations.
Data includes the total number of people who have received a booster dose, a breakdown by age (over 65 and under 65), and data on the type of booster dose people have received.
Children ages 5-11 are eligible to receive a smaller dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which has been fully approved by the FDA and CDC, and appointments are available across the state.
All Utahns age 18 and older, who received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine more than five months ago, or a Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago, are also eligible for a booster shot.
Teens ages 12 to 17 are also eligible for a Pfizer booster dose.
The FDA and CDC have approved booster doses for Americans and urged those age 50 and older to seek one.
Vaccinated vs. unvaccinated risk ratios
In the last 28 days, people who are unvaccinated are at 15.2 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19, 6.7 times greater risk of being hospitalized due to COVID-19, and 2.3 times greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people.
Since Feb. 1, people who are unvaccinated are at 6.8 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19, 5.1 times greater risk of being hospitalized due to COVID-19, and 1.9 times greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people.
UDOH reports 4,507,557 people have been tested — 25,650 more since yesterday. Of those, 739,206 Utahns have tested positive for COVID-19 — an increase of 12,990 new cases.
The rolling seven-day average for positive tests was 9,564 — up from 7,768 on Monday and 3,346 last Monday.
Two weeks ago, Utah’s rolling seven-day average was 1,158. On June 1, the average had dropped to 200 cases.
The rolling seven-day average for percent positivity of “people over people” rose to 36.5% while the rolling seven-day average for percent positivity of “tests over tests” rose to 25.2%.
The virus has killed 3,943 of the state’s residents. The following deaths were reported Thursday:
- Male, between 25-44, Utah County resident, hospitalized at time of death
- Female, between 45-64, Davis County resident, hospitalized at time of death
- Female, between 25-44, Davis County resident, long-term care facility resident
- Female, between 65-84, Salt Lake County resident, hospitalized at time of death
- Male, older than 85, Utah County resident, hospitalized at time of death
- Male, between 65-84, Wasatch County resident, hospitalized at time of death
- Female, between 25-44, Washington County resident, hospitalized at time of death
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:
- Get vaccinated and a booster dose if it has been more than five months (Pfizer/Moderna) since your second dose or two months (J&J) since your first
- 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 Americans should continue wearing face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).
People, including children older than 2, should wear a mask in indoor public places if they are:
- Not fully vaccinated
- Fully vaccinated and in an area with substantial or high transmission
- Fully vaccinated and with weakened immune systems
- In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.
Updated isolation guidelines can be found here.
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