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Utah up to 298 COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

By Jacob Klopfenstein, | Updated - Mar. 24, 2020 at 1:50 p.m. | Posted - Mar. 24, 2020 at 12:39 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s number of COVID-19 cases has increased to 285 in Utah residents and 13 in visitors, Utah Department of Health officials confirmed on Tuesday.

No new deaths were reported from the disease Tuesday. Utah reported its first and so far only death from the disease on Sunday.

So far, 5,823 have been tested for COVID-19 in the state. Health officials now have the capacity to test 2,600 people per day in Utah, according to Utah Department of Health state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn.

Between 4 and 5% of people who have been tested for COVID-19 have tested positive, according to Dunn. That is still lower than other states that have been hit harder, such as Colorado, where about 12% of people tested had a positive result for COVID-19, she said.

No new Utah health districts reported new cases of COVID-19. The breakdown of cases by health district is as follows:

  • Bear River Health District: 4 residents, 0 visitors
  • Davis County Health District: 31 residents, 0 visitors
  • Salt Lake County Health District: 124 residents, 3 visitors
  • Southwest Utah Health District: 5 residents, 0 visitors
  • Summit County Health District: 82 residents, 8 visitors
  • Tooele County Health District: 2 residents, 0 visitors
  • Utah County Health District: 13 residents, 1 visitor
  • Wasatch County Health District: 15 residents, 1 visitors
  • Weber-Morgan Health District: 9 residents, 0 visitors

Previously, there were 244 cases in Utah residents and 13 in visitors.

The 41-case increase is a smaller increase than previous days, but that doesn't necessarily mean Utah's rate of epidemic is going down, Dunn said. Health officials are still looking at the bigger picture rather than day-to-day numbers when planning their continuing response to the disease, she said.

There is currently a lag in data reporting for COVID-19 cases, Dunn said. Testing labs can turn results around in 24 to 48 hours, and state officials are working to decrease the lag in reporting, she said.

The number of cases the state reports each day reflects all Utah residents and visitors who have been infected with the disease, including those who have already recovered, Dunn added. People who are 14 days past the point where they stopped showing symptoms for COVID-19 are considered recovered, she said.

There is some evidence that people who have already been infected with the disease and recovered from it build up an immunity, Dunn said. However, officials still recommend that people who have recovered from COVID-19 practice social distancing, good hand hygiene and other health practices that officials know help stop the spread of the disease, she added.

Dunn discussed the current coronavirus situation in Utah at the Utah Department of Health's daily press conference Tuesday afternoon. Watch the full replay of the event below.

Jacob Klopfenstein

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