Laura Seitz, KSL file

With 446 new Utah COVID-19 cases Tuesday, governor's Aug. 1 case limit goal still within reach

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Updated - Jul. 28, 2020 at 2:47 p.m. | Posted - Jul. 28, 2020 at 1:06 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — With 446 new Utah COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday, Gov. Gary Herbert’s goal to see cases drop below a 500-per-day average by Aug. 1 is still within reach.

However, the rolling seven-day case average remains above Herbert's aim Tuesday with just three days left until the deadline. The rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 541, according to the Utah Department of Health. The positive test rate per day for that time period is now 9.7%.

The health department now estimates there are 12,665 active cases of COVID-19 in Utah, and five more deaths were also reported Tuesday.

Herbert has set a goal of seeing the rolling average drop below 500 cases per day by Saturday, Aug. 1. If the state doesn't meet that goal, the governor has indicated he may reconsider more drastic measures, such as a statewide mask mandate, to stop the spread of the disease.

The state needs to see daily new cases at or below 500 for the next three days in order to hit the goal.

The rolling average Tuesday is the lowest since June 28, when that number was about 537 cases per day. However, Tuesday's rolling average is subject to change because the health department backfills case data.

Several other statistics remained promising Tuesday. The number of estimated active cases has declined for the fourth day in a row, state data shows. For seven of the last 10 days, estimated active cases have been lower than the day before.

Tuesday's new numbers indicate a 1.2% increase in positive cases since Monday. Of the 514,509 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 7.6% were positive for COVID-19. As of Tuesday, the number of tests conducted in Utah has increased by 4,651, state data shows.

There are currently 211 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Utah, the health department reported. Of those patients, 90 are currently in intensive care unit, or ICU, beds across the state.

There have been over 200 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized for the last six days — the longest stretch the state has seen above that mark. For most of the pandemic, Utah has seen fewer than 200 patients currently hospitalized each day, though there was a three-day stretch earlier this month where COVID-19 hospitalizations were above 200 each day.

About 64% of all ICU beds in Utah are occupied, and about 46% of non-ICU beds are occupied, state data shows.

The five deaths reported Tuesday were:

  • A Salt Lake County man who was over the age of 85 and was hospitalized when he died
  • A San Juan County man who was over the age of 85 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
  • A Davis County woman who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
  • A Salt Lake County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
  • A Washington County woman who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when she died

Tuesday's totals give Utah 38,855 total confirmed cases, with 2,295 total hospitalizations and 286 total deaths from the disease. The health department estimates that there are now 25,905 recovered COVID-19 cases in Utah.

There is not a COVID-19 news conference scheduled for Tuesday. Utah officials typically provide updates at news conferences once a week on Wednesdays or Thursdays.

Contributing: Josh Furlong, KSL.com

Methodology:

Test results now include data from PCR tests and antigen tests. Positive COVID-19 test results are reported to the health department immediately after they are confirmed, but negative test results may not be reported for 24 to 72 hours.

The total number of cases reported by the Utah Department of Health each day includes all cases of COVID-19 since Utah's outbreak began, including those who are currently infected, those who have recovered from the disease, and those who have died.

Recovered cases are defined as anyone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 three or more weeks ago and has not died.

Deaths reported by the state typically occurred two to seven days prior to when they are reported, according to the health department. Some deaths may be from even further back, especially if the person is from Utah but has died in another state.

The health department reports both confirmed and probable COVID-19 case deaths per the case definition outlined by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. The death counts are subject to change as case investigations are completed.

Information is from the Utah Department of Health and coronavirus.utah.gov/case-counts. For more information on how the Utah Department of Health compiles and reports COVID-19 data, visit coronavirus.utah.gov/case-counts and scroll down to the "Data Notes" section at the bottom of the page.
Jacob Klopfenstein

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