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Hospitalizations climb to new high as Utah sees 11,128 new COVID cases, 8 deaths

FILE (Courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health on Friday said eight more Utahns have died due to COVID-19 and 11,128 residents have tested positive for the virus since yesterday.

Of those cases, 2,797 (25.13%) were in school-aged children:

  • 616 cases in children ages 5-10
  • 500 cases in children ages 11-13
  • 1,681 cases in children ages 14-18

A record 672 Utahns are currently in the hospital with confirmed cases of COVID-19, surpassing the previous mark of 638, which was set Thursday.

“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.

UDOH also said the public dashboard will not be updated Monday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day).

Hospitalizations

Currently, a record 672 people are hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 182 of those people are in intensive care units.

Utah’s ICUs were 91.9% full Friday and the ICU beds in Utah’s 16 referral centers, where the majority of COVID-19 patients are treated, were 93.9% full — above the state’s utilization threshold or “functionally full” mark of 85%.

(UDOH)

Thirty-four 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.”

Researcher, widow say numbers alone don’t convey the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic

Vaccinations

As of Friday, 4,695,762 vaccine doses have been given in Utah — an increase of 11,201 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 735,329 have received a booster dose.

Over 5.69 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 14.6 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19, 6.5 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 1.8 times greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people.

(UDOH)

Testing

UDOH reports 4,533,835 people have been tested — 26,278 more since yesterday. Of those, 750,334 Utahns have tested positive for COVID-19 — an increase of 11,128 new cases.

The rolling seven-day average for positive tests was 9,827 — up from 7,768 on Monday and 3,346 last Monday.

(UDOH)

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 37.2% while the rolling seven-day average for percent positivity of “tests over tests” rose to 25.6%.

Deaths

The virus has killed 3,951 of the state’s residents. The following deaths were reported Friday:

  • Male, between 25-44, Weber County resident, not hospitalized at time of death
  • Male, between 25-44, Washington County resident, hospitalized at time of death
  • Male, between 65-84, Salt Lake County resident, hospitalized at time of death
  • Male, between 65-84, Davis County resident, hospitalized at time of death
  • Male, between 65-84, Davis County resident, hospitalized at time of death
  • Female, older than 85, Salt Lake County resident, hospitalized at time of death
  • Male, between 45-64, Salt Lake County resident, hospitalized at time of death
  • Male, between 45-64, Salt Lake County resident, hospitalized at time of death

Nationwide Numbers


Coronavirus Resources

Have you or a family member been affected by coronavirus issues in Utah? KSL wants to hear from you. Contact KSL by emailing social@ksl.com.

Click here to sign up for a vaccine and here to see how Utah’s vaccine rollout is progressing.

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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