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The Utah Department of Health on Wednesday reported 7,247 new coronavirus cases – the highest number ever reported in a single day throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
And even that number is probably underestimated, state epidemiologist Leisha Nolen told reporters in a conversation on Zoom, as people use home tests more often.
“Omicron has changed the landscape since arriving last month,” the state’s health department said in a statement, referring to the rapidly spreading variant of the coronavirus. “The number of cases we are reporting today is greater than the total number of cases we have reported in the first 68 days of the pandemic, combined. “
Previously, Utah’s single-day record for new cases fell on December 30, 2020, when 4,706 new coronavirus cases were reported. That’s 2,541 fewer cases than those reported on Wednesday.
“We have the tools to fight omicron,” the department statement said, “but they don’t work if people aren’t using them.”
Nolen urged Utahns who have postponed their vaccination or received reminders to act.
“Our hospitals are already overloaded well beyond their capacity and are canceling procedures. Please go get shot! Nolen said in a statement released ahead of the press conference. “Think about your plans and minimize your exposure to others and when you can’t, put on that mask!” “
The department also confirmed 44 other deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday. Twenty-three of those deaths occurred before December 1 and it was only recently that they were confirmed to have been caused by the coronavirus after further testing. The rest – 21 deaths – were reported on the last day.
Nolen said she did not believe the high number of deaths reported on Wednesday was linked to the spread of the omicron variant.
“They are probably more due to the delta virus,” Nolen told Zoom. “I can’t say any of them were, but I don’t think we’re really seeing any deaths from omicron yet.”
While the number of cases is helpful in understanding trends in how quickly COVID-19 is spreading in Utah, Nolen said, “we really need to focus on the hospitals” to “tell us what the impact is. real about our society “.
The UDOH reported Wednesday that 91.3% of all intensive care beds in Utah and 94.3% of intensive care beds in major medical centers in the state are occupied. (Hospitals consider anything above 85% to be functional.) Of all critical care patients, 38% are treated for COVID-19.
“Vaccines and boosters have been shown to reduce cases, hospitalizations and deaths,” the department said. “They are the most important thing you can do to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community. “
The number of children vaccinated continues to increase: 98,751 children aged 5 to 11 have received at least one dose since becoming eligible. This represents 27.1% of children that age in Utah, according to the Department of Health. And 66,790 of those children were fully immunized, or 18.3% of that age group.
Find where to get tested coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-covid-19-testing-locations.
Find out where to get vaccinated at coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine-distribution.
Vaccine doses administered during the last day / total doses administered • 12,143 / 4,589,082.
Number of Utahns fully vaccinated • 1,908,850 – 58.3% of the total population of Utah. That’s an increase of 2,392 over the last day.
Cases reported in the last day • 7 247.
Cases among school-aged children • Kindergarten to grade 12 children accounted for 973 of the new cases announced Wednesday, or 13.4% of the total. There have been 361 reported cases in children aged 5 to 10 years; 193 cases in children 11-13; and 419 cases in children aged 14-18.
[Read more: Will Utah see a surge of COVID-19 cases in schools?]
Immunization status • Health officials do not immediately have or disclose the immunization status of people who test positive, are hospitalized or have died. They calculate the overall risk ratios of these results based on immunization status, which you can see below.
Tests reported in the last day • 19,906 people were tested for the first time. A total of 37,578 people were tested.
Deaths reported in the last day • 44. (The UDOH did not include in its breakdown which deaths occurred before December 1 and which were reported in the last day.)
There have been 35 deaths in Salt Lake County – one man and two women aged 25 to 44; seven men and six women 45-64 years old; one man and four women 65-84 years old; and 11 men and three women aged 85 or over.
Utah County has reported five deaths – two men aged 25 to 44; and two men and a woman aged 65 to 84.
There have been two deaths in Davis County: a woman aged 25 to 44; and a man aged 65 to 84. A man from Tooele County, aged 45 to 64, and a man from Weber County, aged 65 to 84, also died.
Hospitalizations reported during the last day • 495. This is 16 more than what was reported on Tuesday. Of those currently hospitalized, 181 are in intensive care – three more than reported on Tuesday.
Percentage of positive tests • According to the original state method, the rate is 36.4% in the last day. This is higher than the seven-day average of 23.9%.
The state’s new method counts all test results, including repeat testing of the same individual. Wednesday’s rate was 19.3%, above the seven-day average of 15.5%.
[Read more: Utah is changing how it measures the rate of positive COVID-19 tests. Here’s what that means.]
Risk ratios • In the past four weeks, unvaccinated Utahns were 16.8 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those vaccinated, according to an analysis from the Utah Department of Health. The unvaccinated were also 9.2 times more likely to be hospitalized and 2.7 times more likely to test positive for the coronavirus.
Totals to date • 663,654 cases; 3,855 deaths; 27,938 hospitalizations; 4,333,322 people tested.