Utah Reports Over 14,000 New Coronavirus Cases, Likely A ‘Dramatic Undercoverage’, Expert Says


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Almost two years after the first confirmed case of the coronavirus was reported in Utah, the state reported 4,659 new cases on Thursday, nearly breaking a record for the number of cases reported in a single day.

A whopping 14,754 new cases were reported after the New Years long weekend, including Thursday’s tally. 3,799 additional new cases were registered on Friday, 3,267 were registered on Saturday and 3,123 were registered on Sunday. New cases averaged 3,688.5 per day, according to the Utah Department of Health.

“The amount of omicron in our communities is intense right now,” said Dr. Eddie Stenehjem, infectious disease physician at Intermountain Healthcare.

The state record for the highest one-day count was set about a year ago, when 4,706 new cases were reported on December 30, 2020.

The seven-day moving average of new coronavirus cases also now stands at 3,346 – the highest average reported since November 22, 2020.

As high as the numbers reported on Monday seem, they likely represent “a dramatic undercoverage of positive tests,” Stenehjm said. When the previous record was set, home COVID testing was not available, he noted.

Now you have to take into account all those people who have tested positive with home antigen tests that have never been reported to the state health department or to any of our hospitals ”, a- he declared. “It’s much, much higher than you might think.”

[Read more: Utah students can now return to class faster after being exposed or testing positive for COVID-19]

The Health Ministry also confirmed 17 more on Thursday. Deaths due to COVID-19 from Thursday to Sunday.

The number of children vaccinated continues to increase: 96,993 children aged 5 to 11 have received at least one dose since becoming eligible. That’s 26.6% of children that age in Utah, according to the Department of Health. And 64,507 of those children were fully immunized, or 17.7% of this age group.

The state’s intensive care units have fallen below 90% of their capacity. The UDOH reported Monday that 86.4% of all intensive care beds in Utah and 89.3% of intensive care beds in major medical centers in the state are occupied. (Hospitals consider anything above 85% functional.) Of all critical care patients, 39.8% are treated for COVID-19.

Doses of vaccine given in the last four days / total doses given • 23 327 / 4,564,620.

Number of Utahns fully vaccinated • 1,903,895 – 58.2% of Utah’s total population. That’s an increase of 4,143 over the past four days.

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.

Cases reported in the past four days • 14,754.

Cases among school-aged children • Kindergarten to grade 12 children accounted for 1,764 of the new cases announced on Monday, or 12% of the total. There have been 640 reported cases in children aged 5 to 10 years; 387 cases in children 11-13; and 737 cases in children aged 14-18.

Tests reported in the last four days • 52,431 people were tested for the first time. A total of 97,490 people were tested.

Deaths reported in the past four days • 17.

Four Weber County residents have died – two men and two women, aged 65 to 84.

There have been three deaths in Davis County – a man aged 45 to 64 and a man and woman aged 65 to 84. And there have been three deaths in Washington County – two men aged 45 to 64 and one man 85 or older.

Utah County has reported two deaths – a man aged 65 to 84 and a man aged 85 or older.

Five counties each reported a single death – a woman aged 65 to 84 in Salt Lake County; a woman aged 45 to 64 in Box Elder County; a 45 to 64 year old man in Kane County; a man aged 45 to 64 in Juab County; and a 65 to 84 year old man in San Juan County.

Hospitalizations reported in the last day • 466. That’s 30 more than what was announced on Thursday. Of those currently hospitalized, 179 are in intensive care – four more than reported Thursday.

Percentage of positive tests • According to the original state method, the rate is 28.1% in the last four days. This is higher than the seven-day average of 18.6%.

The state’s new method counts all test results, including repeat testing of the same individual. Monday’s rate was 15.1%, above the seven-day average of 12.5%.

[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 17.5 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 9.6 times more likely to be hospitalized and 2.9 times more likely to test positive for the coronavirus.

Totals to date • 651,746 case; 3,804 death; 27,723 hospitalizations; 4,298,360 people tested.

(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)

(Christopher Cherrington | The Salt Lake Tribune)


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