Jeffrey D. Allred, KSL, File

After record high, health department reports 1,608 new coronavirus cases Saturday

By Graham Dudley, KSL.com | Updated - Oct. 24, 2020 at 1:39 p.m. | Posted - Oct. 24, 2020 at 1:08 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health Saturday is reporting 1,608 new test-confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one death from the disease, down from a record high set Friday when nearly 2,000 new cases were reported.

Saturday's total is still Utah's second-highest daily count, however.

With the update, Utah has now seen 103,117 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 and lost 568 residents to the disease. In an email, the health department said the new reported death was of a Salt Lake County woman who was over age 85 and not hospitalized when she died. Salt Lake County now accounts for about 52% of the state's virus deaths, at 298, and 43% of its cases, outpacing its share of the Utah population.

The health department is reporting that 310 Utahns are currently hospitalized with the coronavirus. State leaders warned this week that increased hospitalizations are straining resources and that some intensive care units are nearing capacity; 110 of the hospitalized Utahns are currently in the ICU.

Over the past week, the state is averaging 1,396 new cases per day and a positive test percentage of 15.9.

Saturday's new cases come as 10,069 more Utahns were tested, the health department said. The department has now reported the results of 1,380,789 total tests on 1,022,809 different Utahns. Nearly one-third of the state's population has now been tested for COVID-19.

Overall, the health department estimates that 75,776 Utahns have recovered from the coronavirus, and that 26,773 cases are active right now.

Under state officials' new health guidance issued last week, nearly every county in Utah is currently under a mask mandate. Only Daggett, Kane, Piute, Rich and Wayne counties are not under a mandate at all; the mandate in Duchesne, Iron and Uintah counties may expire on Oct. 29, assuming none of those counties is moved into the "high" level of transmission when health leaders issue their weekly update.

Fifteen counties that were in the "moderate" transmission level when the index debuted were moved into the "high" level on 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.

More information about Utah's health guidance levels is available at coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-health-guidance-levels.

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.

Graham Dudley

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