Jeffrey D. Allred, KSL, File

Health department reports 643 new coronavirus cases, another new high for the state

By Graham Dudley, KSL.com | Updated - Jun. 20, 2020 at 1:31 p.m. | Posted - Jun. 20, 2020 at 1:14 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health Saturday is reporting an additional 643 cases of COVID-19 in the state one day after the department revealed what was then a single-day high of 586 cases.

The numbers bring Utah's total to 17,068 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus since the pandemic began. There are no new deaths reported Saturday, leaving the state's total at 155.

About 9,390 Utahns are estimated to have recovered from the virus, which the health department defines as having been diagnosed more than three weeks ago without having died.

The department says 152 Utahns are currently hospitalized for COVID-19 and that 16 Utahns have been hospitalized since yesterday.

The health department did report an additional 5,519 tests overnight, brining the state's total number of tests conducted to nearly 293,000. Utah's rate of positive tests overall now sits at 5.8%.

Dr. Angela Dunn, the Utah state epidemiologist, called Saturday's numbers "sobering" in an emailed statement from the health department.

"For three straight weeks now our cases have been increasing at a rate that isn’t sustainable," Dunn went on. "We are at risk for overwhelming our hospital capacity, which could result in Utahns not getting the medical care they need. The only explanation for this increase in cases is that we are experiencing a real and a dramatic rise in the spread of COVID-19 across our state.

"The public health response to this pandemic has not eased up, and we are asking individuals not to ease their own response as well. We continue to contact trace, test, evaluate data, and provide policy-makers with evidence-based recommendations. As they engage more with the economy, Utah residents must do their part by limiting their number of close contacts through good physical distancing, wearing a mask when physical distancing is not possible, staying home if you’re sick, and washing your hands regularly."

Parts of Utah have now moved to the state's designated "green," new-normal risk level, but this applies only to some rural counties. The Wasatch Front is still at yellow risk, and Salt Lake City is at orange risk.

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