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Utah up to 402 COVID-19 cases, but rate of new cases holds steady, health officials say

By Jacob Klopfenstein, | Updated - Mar. 26, 2020 at 2:07 p.m. | Posted - Mar. 26, 2020 at 12:38 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s number of COVID-19 cases has increased to 388 residents and 14 non-resident visitors, the Utah Department of Health confirmed Thursday.

So far, 7,710 people have been tested for COVID-19, an increase of 873 from Wednesday. Previously, there were 332 cases in Utah residents and 14 in visitors. As of Thursday, only one person has died from the disease in Utah.

The 56-case increase in Utah is a 16% increase from Wednesday, and 5% of all reported people tested were confirmed to have the virus.

It's the third straight day the rate of increase has hovered around 16%, according to Utah Department of Health state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn.

While there are still more cases being reported each day, that the rate of increase is not growing exponentially is a good sign, she said; however, it's still too early to tell if Utah is flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases. Past pandemic models suggest cases can continue increasing for up to several months before reaching a peak, according to Dunn.

The department of health is continuing to work with state and federal leaders to monitor the COVID-19 situation in Utah; but as of Thursday, there are no plans to institute a statewide lockdown, Dunn said.

Summit County issued a countywide order Wednesday and is the first county in the state to do so. But the rate of COVID-19 diagnoses among those tested in Summit County is 30-35%, whereas the state overall has seen a positive test result rate of 2-5%, Dunn said.

No new health districts reported new COVID-19 cases Thursday. Central Utah, San Juan, Southeast Utah and TriCounty health districts have yet to report cases. Here are the Utah health districts that are reporting cases of the disease, including residents and visitors diagnosed:

  • Bear River Health District: 6 residents, 0 visitors
  • Davis County Health District: 39 residents, 0 visitors
  • Salt Lake County Health District: 178 residents, 3 visitors
  • Southwest Utah Health District: 8 residents, 1 visitor
  • Summit County Health District: 95 residents, 8 visitors
  • Tooele County Health District: 4 residents, 0 visitors
  • Utah County Health District: 24 residents, 1 visitor
  • Wasatch County Health District: 20 residents, 1 visitor
  • Weber-Morgan Health District: 14 residents, 0 visitors

The number of cases reflects the total number of people who have been infected with the disease, including those who have already recovered. It is difficult to track the number of people who have recovered from the disease, according to Dunn, and the state does not report those numbers.

People in about 90% of cases in Utah fully recover on their own at home, without requiring hospitalization, Dunn said. Of the approximately 10% who do go to the hospital, about half require intensive care. All people who are hospitalized currently due to COVID-19 are expected to make a full recovery, she added.

Utah's hospitalization rate for COVID-19 is lower than that of other states. Dunn said it is due, in part, to Utah's population being younger than other states and because the state is doing social distancing well.

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

Jacob Klopfenstein

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