SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s number of COVID-19 cases has increased by 1,543 on Thursday — another new single-day record for new cases.

Six deaths also were reported Thursday, according to the Utah Department of Health.

Health officials had dire words Thursday as Utah continues to experience a COVID-19 surge that Gov. Gary Herbert called one of the worst in the country earlier this month.

“I don’t know what to do anymore,” health department state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said at a Thursday news conference. “I’m really not trying to scare anyone, I’m just trying to inform you.”

The rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 1,288, according to the health department. The positive test rate per day for that time period is now 15.5%.

Intermountain Healthcare infectious disease medical director Dr. Eddie Stenehjem also made his apprehension known Thursday.

“I’m scared to see what’s to come,” he said at the news conference. “It’s hard to look forward to the future. Our morale is low. It’s hard to be optimistic, but we have to.”


Utah Gov. Gary Herbert provided a COVID-19 update Thursday morning at PBS Utah’s monthly news conference with the governor. Utah Department of Health state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn and interim executive director Rich Saunders, as well as Intermountain Healthcare infectious disease medical director Dr. Eddie Stenehjem also spoke at the event.

Watch a replay of the event below.

New COVID-19 cases

The state now estimates there are 25,400 active cases of COVID-19 in Utah. The new numbers indicate a 1.6% increase in positive cases since Wednesday. Of the 1,004,286 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 9.9% have tested positive for COVID-19.

The health department reported an increase of 10,291 tests conducted as of Thursday.

There are now 301 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Utah, including 111 in intensive care units across the state. About 74% of all ICU beds in Utah are occupied as of Thursday, while about 53% of non-ICU beds are filled, state data shows.

The six deaths reported Thursday were:

  • A Davis County woman who was between the ages of 65 and 84 who was hospitalized when she died
  • A Garfield County man who was over the age of 85 who was not hospitalized when he died
  • A Juab County woman who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when she died
  • A Salt Lake County woman who was between the ages of 45 and 64 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
  • A Salt Lake County man who was between the ages of 45 and 64 and was hospitalized when he died
  • A Utah County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died

Additionally Thursday, 15 new Utah counties have moved to the “high” COVID-19 transmission level rating under the health department’s new transmission index system.

A total of 21 counties are now considered at a high transmission risk: Beaver, Box Elder, Cache, Carbon, Davis, Emery, Garfield, Grand, Juab, Millard, Morgan, Salt Lake, San Juan, Sanpete, Sevier, Summit, Tooele, Utah, Wasatch, Washington and Weber.

Three counties are now listed at the moderate transmission level: Duchesne, Iron and Uintah. The remaining five counties are rated at the low transmission level: Daggett, Kane, Piute, Rich and Wayne.

Thursday’s totals give Utah 99,549 total confirmed cases, with 4,880 total hospitalizations and 563 total deaths from the disease. A total of 73,586 Utah COVID-19 cases are now considered recovered, according to state data.

This story will be updated.

Methodology:

Test results now include data from PCR tests and antigen tests. Positive COVID-19 test results are reported to the health department immediately after they are confirmed, but negative test results may not be reported for 24 to 72 hours.

The total number of cases reported by the Utah Department of Health each day includes all cases of COVID-19 since Utah’s outbreak began, including those who are currently infected, those who have recovered from the disease, and those who have died.

Recovered cases are defined as anyone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 three or more weeks ago and has not died.

Deaths reported by the state typically occurred two to seven days prior to when they are reported, according to the health department. Some deaths may be from even further back, especially if the person is from Utah but has died in another state.

The health department reports both confirmed and probable COVID-19 case deaths per the case definition outlined by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. The death counts are subject to change as case investigations are completed.

Data included in this story primarily reflects the state of Utah as a whole. For more localized data, visit your local health district’s website.

More information about Utah’s health guidance levels is available at coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-health-guidance-levels.

Information is from the Utah Department of Health and coronavirus.utah.gov/case-counts. For more information on how the Utah Department of Health compiles and reports COVID-19 data, visit coronavirus.utah.gov/case-counts and scroll down to the “Data Notes” section at the bottom of the page.

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Jacob Klopfenstein

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