Jeffrey D. Allred, KSL file

Utah sees pandemic's largest COVID-19 daily total with 586 new cases

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Updated - Jun. 19, 2020 at 1:27 p.m. | Posted - Jun. 19, 2020 at 12:54 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s number of COVID-19 cases has increased by 586 from Thursday, with three new reported deaths, according to the Utah Department of Health.

That's the highest single-day new case total in Utah so far, eclipsing June 6, when there were 546 new cases.

Friday's totals give Utah 16,425 total confirmed cases, with 1,145 total hospitalizations and 155 total deaths from the disease. Previously, there were 15,839 cases in the state.

The new numbers indicate a 3.7% increase in positive cases since Thursday. Of the 287,358 tests conducted in Utah so far, 5.7% were positive for COVID-19. There were 4,673 tests conducted between Thursday and Friday.

The health department estimates there are about 7,157 active cases of COVID-19 in Utah. Another 9,113 cases are estimated recovered. Anyone who was diagnosed with the disease three or more weeks ago and has not died is considered recovered.

Utah has been experiencing a statewide spike of COVID-19 cases since around May 8, according to the health department's state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn.

Since Memorial Day, cases have nearly doubled in the state. The Utah case total on Memorial Day, May 25, was 8,521 for the entire pandemic. In the four weeks since, there have been 7,904 new cases.

Two of the deaths reported Friday were from Salt Lake County, health officials reported. One was a man who was over the age of 85 and was a resident of a long-term care facility. The other was a man who was between the ages of 65 and 84. He was hospitalized when he died, according to the health department.

The third reported death was a man from Wasatch County. He was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died.

Despite the alarming new case totals, Utah's mortality rate hasn't yet seen a similar spike. The mortality rate in the state is currently .9%, according to the health department. It's hovered around 1% throughout the pandemic in Utah, according to health officials.

Another 25 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Utah since Thursday. There are currently 149 people hospitalized with the disease in the state.

In an interview with KSL NewsRadio on Thursday, Dunn said Utah is bumping up against the capacity for its hospital system. Earlier in the pandemic, there were typically 90-100 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state.

Now, there are around 150, though the health department reported one less person was hospitalized Friday compared to Thursday.

As of Friday, about 60.5% of Utah's intensive care unit beds are filled, and about 53.6% of non-intensive care unit beds were occupied, according to the health department. Those numbers have dipped slightly since Thursday, when 62% of the state's ICU beds were occupied, and about 54% of non-ICU hospital beds were occupied.

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.'

There is no COVID-19 press conference expected Friday. Utah officials provide updates once a week on Wednesdays or Thursdays.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert's executive order transitioning nine rural Utah counties to move to the green, "safe normal" COVID-19 level also went into effect Friday at 1 p.m.

Also this week, Herbert and other Utah leaders announced the fourth version of the state's Utah Leads Together plan for pandemic recovery. The plan outlines priorities for the next 100, 250 and 500 days as Utah moves through the stabilization phase and into recovery.

A special session of the Utah legislature began Thursday. Legislators are meeting to adjust the budgets for the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years in the wake of COVID-19-related expenses. Herbert delivered a list of 26 items, including coronavirus issues and other priorities, that the legislature will address during the session.

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