CORONAVIRUS UTAH

Doctors: Learn how to manage COVID-19 risk and get vaccinated

Feb 22, 2022, 5:24 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 4:48 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to drop in Utah, but the virus remains a threat to health care systems statewide.

On Tuesday, medical experts from the University of Utah advised everyone to be wise as they manage their own risk going forward.

Masks are still mandatory when you go into the hospital, or board a train or a plane. But, restrictions across the country are easing quickly, and people need to be cautious as they manage their own risk.

“While things are decreasing, we still do have COVID-19 in our hospitals,” said Dr. Kencee Graves, associate chief medical officer for inpatient health at U of U Health.

Hospitals remain busy with direct and indirect impacts from COVID, Graves said.

State data shows case counts dropping 50% since the end of January. But, Utah is still seeing rates of infection that are higher than what was experienced with the delta variant last fall.

“I think we know that COVID-19 is a risk,” Graves said in a media briefing Tuesday. “How we mitigate that risk and when really depends on our risk level.”

Hospitalizations across Utah have also dropped nearly 50%, but there are still more than 500 people hospitalized, which is just as high as the previous two peaks in the pandemic.

“While COVID might be waning in our community, we still do see effects here in the hospital. We appreciate our community doing the best they can to take care of us, and we will continue to serve,” Graves said.

Right now, there’s no new variant of concern emerging globally, or here in Utah. But, as long as COVID-19 is here at some level, those at high-risk will want to take precautions.

“During particular waves, it might make sense to continue to make the choice to use high-quality masks, to protect yourself, and there are other times where cases are quite low when you may not have to worry too much about that,” said Stephen Goldstein, PhD, postdoctoral researcher, U of U School of Medicine.

Use judgment, Goldstein said. If something makes you concerned, mask up.

“It is going to come down, I think, from this point forward, to personal risk calculations,” he said. “I think personally, those tools will still have an important role to play at times when circulation of the virus is high.”

The health experts reinforced that vaccines and boosters are still the best protection.

“I think it’s an individual choice, and we have tools at our disposal that we can be thoughtful about how to use,” Graves said.

If you, or others that you live with or see regularly, are at high-risk, the doctors suggest that you still mask up and keep your distance.
KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

The Nurse Crisis and Patent Risk....
Debbie Worthen

Utah registered nurses are leaving the field, creating the ‘perfect storm’

"Without nurses, we can't have hospitals." Utah nurses are overworked and underpaid. Some say it's put people at risk.
5 days ago
Four-year-old Viola Fairfax-Panza Getting her COVID-19 vaccination, held by her mother Keke Fairfax...
Jed Boal

Salt Lake Co. distributes COVID vaccines for children 6-months and older

Salt Lake County begins COVID-19 vaccinations for children 6 months and older.
5 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Stephen Zenner/Getty Images)...
Jed Boal

Utah’s youngest kids should be able to get COVID-19 vaccine next week

Kids as young as 6 months old should be able to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the middle of next week. This is an eagerly awaited opportunity for many parents and an issue of concern for others.
9 days ago
Utah COVID testing site. Getty images...
Cary J. Schwanitz, KSL TV

New mobile COVID-19 testing sites open in Utah

With the summer travel season underway and a steady stream of people still testing positive for COVID-19, Nomi Health opened several mobile testing sites across Utah.
18 days ago
The CDC is released updated mask guidance as researchers learn more about COVID-19. (KSL TV)...
Michael Houck, KSL TV

Charter school asks students not to mask to help ‘normalize’ not wearing masks at school

The American Preparatory Academy asks students not to wear a mask during their last three days of school to help with their 'academic and emotional growth.'
29 days ago
AURORA, CO - DECEMBER 15: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center investigat...
Jed Boal, KSL TV

Pfizer booster shot is now approved for children 5-11, here’s what a doctor advises

The CDC now recommends Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots for children ages five to 11. But, a leading pediatric epidemiologist suggests some parents may want to wait based on their summer plans.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Doctors: Learn how to manage COVID-19 risk and get vaccinated