SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has once again broken its single-day COVID-19 case record Friday with 1,411 new infections reported, surpassing Thursday's previous record of 1,198, according to the Utah Department of Health.
Four more deaths were also reported Friday, the health department said.
The state also reported the highest single-day COVID-19 testing total of the pandemic, with an increase of 10,242 tests conducted reported Friday.
"Unfortunately, today we also see a record number of new cases being reported which has primarily been driven by an increase of cases among young people. We expect these increases will also spill over to other age groups and the data indicates this is starting to happen," the health department said in a press release Friday.
The state now estimates there are 14,722 active cases of COVID-19 in Utah. The rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 960, according to the health department. The positive test rate per day for that time period is now 14%.
Friday's new numbers indicate a 2.1% increase in positive cases since Thursday. Of the 795,217 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 8.6% have tested positive for the disease.
Though Friday's case numbers broke Utah's record, the health department said the increased amount of testing is a good sign toward controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the future.
"For the first time, we've hit more than 10,000 tests reported in a 24-hour period," the health department's statement says. "Testing is a critical component of our response and helps us understand the spread of the virus in our communities."
The department encouraged anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches and pains, or a loss of the sense of taste or smell, to get tested.
There are now 184 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Utah, including 76 people in intensive care unit, or ICU, beds in the state, health department data shows. About 68% of all ICU beds in the state are filled as of Friday, while about 55% of non-ICU beds are occupied.
The four deaths reported Friday include:
- A Weber County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died
- An Iron County woman who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when she died
- A Salt Lake County woman who was over the age of 85 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
- A Washington County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
Friday's totals give Utah 68,530 total confirmed cases, with 3,668 total hospitalizations and 448 total deaths from the disease. A total of 53,360 Utah COVID-19 cases are now considered recovered, the health department said.
There is not a COVID-19 news conference scheduled for Friday. Utah officials provided an update this week at a Tuesday news conference, and Gov. Gary Herbert also spoke Thursday during his monthly news conference with PBS Utah.
Though health officials now say all age groups have seen increases in COVID-19 cases during the current surge, the spike has been primarily driven by increased cases among the 15-24 age group.
To combat the spread of COVID-19 among young people, the health department on Friday announced a new public information campaign, appropriately dubbed "Ronalert." The campaign seeks to help young people "avoid the Rona" by putting safety measures into terms that are relatable to that age group.
"The campaign encourages our young people to make choices that we know help stop the spread of COVID-19 — wearing a mask, physical distancing, washing your hands, and staying home when you are sick or have tested positive," the health department said Friday.
More information is available at coronavirus.utah.gov/rona.
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.