Coronavirus cases up 188 in Utah Wednesday

Coronavirus cases up 188 in Utah Wednesday


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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health announced Wednesday that Utah has seen an additional 188 cases of COVID-19 and two deaths from the disease since Tuesday.

The state now sits at 6,620 total cases of the novel coronavirus and 75 deaths, up from 6,432 cases and 73 deaths the day before.

The new numbers indicate a 2.9% increase in positive cases since Tuesday. Of the 156,786 total tests in Utah so far, 4.2% have been positive for COVID-19.

The health department is also reporting 3,301 COVID-19 tests performed and 18 hospitalizations over Tuesday's numbers. That brings the state to 535 total coronavirus-related hospitalizations.

The health department estimates that 99 Utahns are currently hospitalized for the coronavirus; an additional 59 are hospitalized and classified as "under investigation," meaning they may have COVID-19.

So far 3,406 Utahns are estimated to have recovered from COVID-19.

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

Well over half of the state's total COVID-19 infections — 3,530 — have come from Salt Lake County, along with 315 hospitalizations and 51 deaths.

Utah Department of Health state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn discussed the current coronavirus situation in the state at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. Watch the replay of the event below.

'Far away' from herd immunity

During a press conference on Wednesday, state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said some areas of Utah may be able to move faster than others when it comes to easing community restrictions.

"It's important for these jurisdictions to be able to make decisions that make sense for them," Dunn said. "There are certainly some places in Utah that have seen a decrease in cases while maintaining testing capacity, and they still have hospital surge capacity as well. So those places will likely be able to move a little quicker to yellow."

It would be difficult to move to yellow statewide just yet, she said, because of hot spots like the Wasatch Front and San Juan County.

Dunn said 60% to 80% of the population would need to be immune from COVID-19 for Utah to develop "herd immunity," and she guesses less than 5% of Utahns are immune. Scientists are still researching to what degree those recovered from COVID-19 are immune from reinfection.

"We are far away from having herd immunity due to everybody being infected," Dunn said. "So were are looking toward that vaccine to be able to provide stability in our ability to respond to COVID-19."

Researchers around the world are working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, but that process will likely take months even when expedited as much as possible.

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Graham Dudley reports on politics, breaking news and more for A native Texan, Graham's work has previously appeared in the Brownwood (Texas) Bulletin and The Oklahoma Daily.


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