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Steve Griffin, KSL file

'Acceleration phase': Utah sees 444 new cases of COVID-19, no new deaths

By Jacob Klopfenstein and Lauren Bennett, KSL.com | Updated - Jun. 22, 2020 at 4:14 p.m. | Posted - Jun. 22, 2020 at 1:10 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — After several record-setting days in a row of new COVID-19 cases, Utah has been back below 500 new cases for the past two days.

The state is still seeing hundreds of new cases, however. Utah’s number of COVID-19 cases increased by 444 from Sunday, with no new reported deaths, according to the Utah Department of Health.

Monday's totals give Utah 17,906 total confirmed cases, with 1,192 total hospitalizations and 158 total deaths from the disease. Previously, there were 17,462 cases in the state.

The new numbers indicate a 2.5% increase in positive cases since Sunday. Of the 299,312 tests conducted in Utah so far, 6% were positive for COVID-19. There were 2,917 tests conducted between Sunday and Monday.

The health department estimates that there are currently 7,885 active cases of COVID-19 in Utah. Another 9,863 are estimated to be recovered cases. Anyone who was diagnosed with the disease three or more weeks ago and has not died is considered recovered.

Monday is the first day the health department has reported a positive test rate of 6%. The rate has slowly crept up by 0.1% for the past several days. Earlier in the pandemic before Utah's statewide COVID-19 spike, the positive test rate was typically around 4-5%.

The average daily positive test rate was 12.5% over the past seven days, according to the health department. That is the highest seven-day average seen in Utah so far during the pandemic.

Over that time period, there were 3,298 confirmed cases for an average of 471 new cases per day. There were also 26,374 lab tests for COVID-19 that week, the health department reports.

For the week of June 8 before that, the daily positive rate averaged out to 7.6%. There were 2,286 new cases that week, averaging 327 per day. There also were 30,039 COVID-19 tests conducted that week, according to the health department.

Health department state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn has now warned that another shutdown might be necessary to control the outbreak.

In a health department memo sent on Friday and released on Monday, Dunn said the state is currently in an “acceleration phase” of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We are quickly getting to a point where the only viable option to manage spread and deaths will be a complete shutdown,” the memo stated. “This might be our last chance for course correction. Contact tracing and testing alone will not control this outbreak.”

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.

Eight more people were hospitalized with COVID-19 between Sunday and Monday, the health department reports. There are currently 171 people hospitalized with the disease in the state.

There was no COVID-19 press conference scheduled for Monday. Utah officials provide updates once a week on Wednesdays or Thursdays.

Though Utah officials have been investigating a statewide spike in new COVID-19 cases since Memorial Day, the mortality rate for the disease in the state has not shown a similarly dramatic increase.

As of Monday, the mortality rate is about 0.9% in Utah, and it's been hovering around 1% throughout most of the pandemic.

Jacob Klopfenstein
Lauren Bennett

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