SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health is reporting 2,043 new test-confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 14 deaths from the disease Saturday in its daily coronavirus numbers update.
The figures bring Utah to 192,087 total confirmed cases and 863 deaths since the pandemic began.
In an email, the health department said the 14 deceased Utahns included seven from Salt Lake County:
- A woman over age 85 who was the resident of a long-term care facility
- Two women over age 85 who were hospitalized when they died
- Three men between ages 65 and 84 who were hospitalized
- A man between ages 25 and 44 who was hospitalized
It also included seven Utahns from elsewhere in the state:
- A Washington County man between ages 25 and 44 who was not hospitalized when he died
- A Washington County man over age 85 who was not hospitalized
- A Washington County man between ages 65 and 84 who was the resident of a long-term care facility
- A Weber County woman between ages 25 and 44; officials do not know if she was hospitalized
- A Weber County woman between ages 45 and 64 who was hospitalized
- A Davis County man between ages 65 and 84 who was hospitalized
- A Utah County man between ages 65 and 84 who was hospitalized
Currently, the health department says there are 573 Utahns hospitalized due to COVID-19 and that 207 of those patients are in intensive care. In the state's "referral center" hospitals, the 16 hospitals designated to provide the best COVID-19 care, just over 85% of ICU beds are reportedly taken.
In a Nov. 23 blog post, Intermountain explained why it considers 85% ICU utilization to be "functionally full."
"Think of it this way," Intermountain said: "When you take your mom to brunch at her favorite restaurant for Mother's Day — the busiest restaurant day of the year — the place is humming. Every seat is full, every cook and server are working, and the kitchen is stocked with everything the chef might need. But if you show up at the restaurant on a random Tuesday and you happen to be behind a group of 20 tourists, the service might be slower and the kitchen might run short on your favorite dish, even though the restaurant is only 85 percent full. That's because restaurants can't afford to schedule their staff like every day is the busiest day of the year. If they did, they'd go out of business.
"Right now, hospitals are operating like every day IS the busiest day of the year, and every day gets worse and worse," Intermountain wrote.
Saturday's new case figure comes as 7,443 new people were reported to have been tested. Testing centers were closed on Thanksgiving.
Over the past week, the state is averaging 2,575 new reported cases per day and a positive test percentage of 21.4.
The state reported two days' worth of data on Friday after taking the Thanksgiving holiday off; it showed 6,142 new cases during that time.
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.