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Steve Griffin, KSL file

Utah sees 164 new cases of COVID-19, 2 more deaths

By Jacob Klopfenstein, | Updated - May 21, 2020 at 1:39 p.m. | Posted - May 21, 2020 at 1:05 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — Two more people have died from COVID-19 in Utah as the state shifts to a focus on high-risk groups and continues the gradual reopening of its economy.

Utah’s number of COVID-19 cases has increased by 164 from Wednesday, according to the Utah Department of Health.

Thursday’s totals give Utah 7,874 total confirmed cases, with 647 total hospitalizations and 92 total deaths from the disease. Previously, there were 7,710 cases in the state.

The two people who died were both Salt Lake County women, according to the health department.

One was over the age of 85 and was a resident of a long-term care facility. The other was between the ages of 60 and 85 and was hospitalized at the time of her death.

The new numbers indicate a 2.1% increase in positive cases since Wednesday. Of the 182,874 tests conducted in Utah so far, 4.3% were positive for 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.

The health department estimates 4,596 Utahns have recovered from COVID-19. Anyone who was diagnosed with the disease three or more weeks ago and has not died is considered to be recovered.

The department estimates there are about 3,186 active cases of COVID-19 currently in Utah. There was an increase of 16 hospitalizations for the disease since Wednesday, and there are currently 109 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Utah, according to the health department.

There is no COVID-19 news conference expected Thursday. State officials have now transitioned to holding news conferences once a week on Wednesdays.

The new case counts come a day after Gov. Gary Herbert announced version 3.0 of the state’s roadmap for pandemic recovery, known as the Utah Leads Together plan.

The latest update of the plan shifts to a focus on groups that are at high risk for COVID-19, including high-risk people who are in state custody, residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, people who live at home but need assistance, and high-risk people who have returned to work and those who work with them.

Just under 95% of the people who have died from COVID-19 in Utah were considered at a high risk for the disease. The state’s mortality rate for COVID-19 is 1.2%, according to the health department.

Out of Utah’s more than 300 long-term care facilities, a total of 112 have been impacted by COVID-19 during the pandemic. Forty residents of such facilities have died, 217 residents have tested positive for the disease, and 195 healthcare workers at those facilities have also tested positive, the health department reports.

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