Laura Seitz, KSL, File

1,201 more COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths reported in Utah on Monday

By Carter Williams, KSL.com | Updated - Oct. 26, 2020 at 2:59 p.m. | Posted - Oct. 26, 2020 at 1:16 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's number of COVID-19 cases has increased by 1,201 on Monday, with two more deaths reported, according to the Utah Department of Health.

State health officials said a Garfield County man, aged 65 to 84, and a Washington County woman, aged 45 to 64, died as a result of COVID-19. Both were hospitalized at the time of their deaths.

The numbers released Monday indicate a 1.1% increase in total positive cases since Sunday. Of the 1.037 million people tested for COVID-19 in Utah since March, 10.2% have tested positive for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 1,494, according to the health department. The positive test rate per day for that time period is now 17% through Oct. 20. Both figures are all-time highs since the coronavirus was first reported in Utah.

Monday's totals give Utah 106,083 total confirmed cases, with 5,102 total hospitalizations and 574 total deaths from the disease. An estimated 78,212 Utahns have recovered from the coronavirus since March.

The number of new people hospitalized due to COVID-19 also increased by 53 from numbers reported on Sunday. On a more positive note, the number of overall current hospitalizations due to COVID-19 fell slightly from 308 to 299, including eight fewer intensive care unit cases.

The percentage of ICU beds occupied in the state — a statistic that includes both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 needs — also fell from 76% Sunday to 69% on Monday. The state's listed goal for ICU bed occupancy is anything below 72%.

There is no COVID-19 news conference scheduled for Monday. Utah officials typically provide updates at news conferences once a week on Wednesdays or Thursdays.

Peterson suspends in-person campaigning over COVID-19; Murray school shifts to temporary online learning

The office of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Peterson and his running mate Karina Brown announced Monday they are suspending all in-person campaign events, citing an uptick of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. Both will continue campaigning through online functions through Election Day, Nov. 3.

Peterson, who has been critical of how the state has handled the pandemic, urged his opponent, Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, and other gubernatorial campaigns to do the same in an effort to put "health and safety first" amid the uptick in new cases.

"Politicians have failed to keep Utahns safe with their patchwork pandemic response, leading to overrun hospitals, uncertainty in our public schools, and shuttered businesses across the state. Because of surging coronavirus numbers, we have made the responsible decision to suspend all in-person campaign events through Election Day," his statement read, in part.

A spokesperson for Cox's campaign told KSL.com Cox already didn't have any in-person campaign events scheduled between Monday and Election Day.

"We have carefully followed state and local health guidelines, holding events outdoors and rigorously enforcing mask requirements. Given that the current cold weather makes outdoor events unpredictable, we will not be holding any additional in-person events this cycle," Cox's campaign staff wrote in a statement.

Meanwhile, administrators at Parkside Elementary in Murray announced Sunday that the school would shift to online learning from Tuesday until Nov. 9 because "a number of our staff" were exposed to someone who recently tested positive for COVID-19.

"While the actual case count at Parkside Elementary remains relatively low, out of an abundance of caution, district officials have made the decision to take preventive measures to protect students and educators," officials wrote in a Facebook post.

They added that that school breakfast and lunches will be provided in a grab-and-go style every day while the school is closed to in-person learning.

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.

Carter Williams

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