COVID-19 hospitalizations doubled, but mortality rate is low

Jul 13, 2022, 5:05 PM | Updated: Jul 26, 2022, 3:42 pm
MURRAY, Utah — After more than two years of dealing with COVID-19, the virus is again making many people sick.
Hospitalizations in Utah and nationwide have doubled in the last ten weeks. Fortunately, this variant is not as deadly as others in the past.
“We’re clearly in a surge phase,” said Dr. Brandon Webb, an infectious diseases physician with Intermountain Healthcare.
He said that surge is evident in Utah’s very high test positivity rate, high Covid wastewater levels, and high syndromic surveillance.
“All indicators point towards what we know already, that there are a lot of people in the community with Covid,” Webb explained.
Hospitals worldwide are seeing a surge.
Utah hospitals are nearing 200 patients, similar to when the delta variant arrived a year ago. The highly contagious omicron subvariant BA.5 is now the dominant strain. 
“We’ve really seen an uptick in the hospitalization numbers,” said the infectious diseases physician. “There are estimates that the BA.5 variant is among the most transmissible respiratory viruses we’ve ever seen.”
Fortunately, Webb said, it is not putting as many people in the ICU.
But, community transmission levels are high in six Utah’s counties, including Salt Lake County.
The doctor said about half of those hospitalized right now are unvaccinated. Vaccination and prior infection provide less protection against this variant. But, they still help modify the severity.
“The more immunity individuals have, the less likely it is that getting Covid again will cause a severe disease,” Webb said.
The doctor expressed it’s a good time to know your own risk and take precautions accordingly. Masking up in crowded indoor spaces or while traveling may be the best strategy for evading this variant.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Katija Stjepovic

Utah arts and cultural jobs are surging after COVID pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic pulled the curtains on most of Utah's arts and cultural jobs, but after nearly three years, they are reemerging. 
19 hours ago
Ashley Moser

Flu, COVID and RSV all trending down for the first time in months, says CDC

Major respiratory illnesses are all trending down for the first time since September, according to the CDC.
15 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)...
Josh Ellis

Utah doctor, others charged with running COVID vaccine scheme, issuing fake records and giving fake shots

A Utah plastic surgeon, his medical corporation and three others have been charged after prosecutors say they issued fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards and injected minors with saline shots.
21 days ago
Dr. Angela Dunn, executive director of Salt Lake County Health Department, left, discusses schoolch...
Michael Houck

Salt Lake County ends its COVID-19 emergency status

After nearly three years, the Salt Lake County Health Department ended its COVID emergency status Tuesday. 
29 days ago
FILE: People line up in their cars as members of the Utah National Guard give COVID-19 swab tests a...
Eliza Pace

Gov. Cox, along with 24 other governors, call on President Biden to end Federal Public Health Emergency

Gov. Spencer Cox signed a letter with 24 other governors calling on President Joe Biden to end the federal public health emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic.
2 months ago
U.S. President Joe Biden welcomes guests to the East Room of the White House on December 14, 2022 i...
ZEKE MILLER, AP White House Correspondent

White House reveals winter COVID-19 plans, more free tests

The Biden administration is again making some free COVID-19 tests available to all U.S. households as it unveils its contingency plans for potential coronavirus surges this winter.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
COVID-19 hospitalizations doubled, but mortality rate is low