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Jon O’Brien gets a COVID-19 test at a Utah National Guard Joint Task Force 97 mobile testing site in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. The Guard has approximately 275 service members mapping support for contact tracing, mobile testing, facility assessment and training, and warehouse operations.

Jeffrey D. Allred, KSL file

Utah's most recent COVID-19 cases sees record-high deaths

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Updated - Nov. 25, 2020 at 1:35 p.m. | Posted - Nov. 25, 2020 at 12:46 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — Utah saw its highest single-day COVID-19 death total so far Wednesday with 26, but reported a slightly lower number of new cases as rates are beginning to show signs of plateauing.

The number of cases increased by 1,781 on Wednesday, according to the Utah Department of Health.

The state now estimates there are 62,178 active cases of COVID-19 in Utah. Tuesday, that estimate was 62,547 active cases, making Wednesday the first day the active case estimate has been lower than the previous day since Sept. 9, according to state data.

The rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 3,113, according to the health department. The positive test rate per day for that time period is now 22%. There are now 570 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah, state data shows.

The rolling positive test rate average, while still high, has begun to slowly decrease, having topped out at 24.6% on Nov. 16. And while Utah's daily new cases are still high, health department analysis indicates the last five days have shown signs of a COVID-19 case plateau in Utah. Tuesday was categorized as an "incidence decline" day on the health department's coronavirus trends dashboard.

The new numbers indicate a 1% increase in positive cases since Tuesday. Of the 1,380,997 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 13.4% have tested positive for COVID-19. The state reported an increase of 13,062 tests conducted as of Wednesday.

Of the 570 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah, 207 are in intensive care units. About 82% of all ICU beds in Utah are filled as of Wednesday, including about 87% in the state's referral hospitals, which are the 16 health care facilities in Utah with the capability to provide the best COVID-19 care, according to state data.

About 52% of non-ICU hospital beds are filled in Utah, state data shows.

The 26 deaths reported Wednesday were:

  • A Salt Lake County man who was between the ages of 25 and 44 and was not hospitalized when he died
  • A Box Elder County man who was over the age of 85 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
  • A Utah County man who was over the age of 85 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
  • A Box Elder County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
  • A Summit County woman who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
  • A Davis County man who was over the age of 85 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
  • A Davis County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was not hospitalized when he died
  • A Washington County woman who was over the age of 85 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
  • A Utah County woman who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was not hospitalized when she died
  • A Duchesne County man who was over the age of 85 and was hospitalized when he died
  • A Salt Lake County woman who was over the age of 85 and was not hospitalized when she died
  • A Salt Lake County man who was between the ages of 45 and 64 and was not hospitalized when he died
  • A Salt Lake County woman who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was not hospitalized when she died
  • A Davis County woman who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when she died
  • A Salt Lake County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died
  • A Salt Lake County woman who was over the age of 85 and was hospitalized when she died
  • A Sanpete County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died
  • A Sanpete County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died
  • A Salt Lake County woman who was over the age of 85 and was not hospitalized when she died
  • A Washington County woman who was between the ages of 45 and 64 and was hospitalized when she died
  • A Utah County woman who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when she died
  • A Utah County woman who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
  • A Utah County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died
  • A Davis County man who was between the ages of 25 and 44 and was hospitalized when he died
  • A Utah County woman who was over the age of 85 and was hospitalized when she died
  • A Washington County woman who was over the age of 85 and was not hospitalized when she died

Wednesday's totals give Utah 183,902 total confirmed cases, with 7,785 total hospitalizations and 834 total deaths from the disease. A total of 120,890 Utah COVID-19 cases are now estimated to be recovered, according to the health department.

There is not a COVID-19 news conference scheduled for Wednesday. Utah officials typically provide updates at news conferences once a week on Wednesdays or Thursdays. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and other state officials provided an update at a Monday news conference.

The health department will not be reporting COVID-19 numbers on Thursday due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Many testing centers in the state will also be closed Thursday. Friday's health department report will include COVID-19 statistics from the previous two days.

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.

For deaths that are reported as COVID-19 deaths, the person would not have died if they did not have COVID-19, according to the health department.

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.

Jacob Klopfenstein

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