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Steve Griffin, KSL File

Another record-breaking day Friday as Utah sees 1,117 more COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Updated - Sep. 18, 2020 at 1:24 p.m. | Posted - Sep. 18, 2020 at 1:06 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s number of COVID-19 cases has increased by 1,117 from Thursday, with no new deaths reported, according to the Utah Department of Health.

It’s the second day in a row Utah has seen a record number of new cases in a single day, having seen 911 new cases on Thursday.

"This week’s spikes make me seriously question if these warnings and public education are enough. I will meet with the Unified Command leadership again Monday to discuss needed interventions," Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said in a news release Friday. "I’d like to emphasize that all of the tools that government has for controlling the spread of COVID-19 are on the table. We are seriously considering each one of them."

State officials now estimate there are 10,846 active cases of COVID-19 in Utah. The rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 726 — skyrocketing up from below 500 over the weekend, according to the health department. The positive test rate per day for that time period is now 12.5%.

The new numbers indicate a 1.8% increase in positive cases since Thursday. Of the 743,737 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 8.3% have tested positive for COVID-19. The state reports an increase of 8,559 tests conducted as of Friday.

There are currently 131 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Utah, including 52 in intensive care unit, or ICU, beds across the state, according to state data. About 71% of all ICU beds in the state are occupied as of Friday, while about 56% of non-ICU beds are filled.

Utah County, along with southern Salt Lake County, is thought to account for many of the new cases over the past week. Among the new cases Friday, 501 were from Utah County, while 393 were from Salt Lake County.

Herbert applauded leaders in Utah County for their willingness to address the state's recent spike.

"I am encouraged by discussions occurring between Utah County elected officials and am glad to see them consulting with public health experts and treating this spike in cases seriously," the governor said.

Friday's totals give Utah 61,775 total confirmed cases, with 3,444 total hospitalizations and 437 total deaths from the disease. A total of 50,492 Utah COVID-19 cases are now considered recovered, according to the health department.

There is not a COVID-19 news conference scheduled for Friday. Herbert and health department state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn provided a coronavirus update at a news conference Thursday.

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.

Data included in this story primarily reflects the state of Utah as a whole. For more localized data, visit your local health district's website.

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.

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