Health care workers work at a new COVID-19 testing site in the parking lot of Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. The testing site is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to noon. Appointments are required.

Scott G Winterton, KSL, File

Utah health department reports 2,408 new COVID-19 cases, 8 deaths Saturday

By Graham Dudley, KSL.com | Updated - Dec. 19, 2020 at 1:14 p.m. | Posted - Dec. 19, 2020 at 12:48 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — The state health department is reporting 2,408 new test-confirmed cases and eight deaths from COVID-19 Saturday as part of its daily release of updated coronavirus statistics in Utah.

That brings Utah to 248,970 total cases reported and 1,148 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began. In an email, the health department said seven of the deaths reported Saturday when Utahns who were hospitalized at the time:

  • A Salt Lake County man between ages 65 and 84
  • A Salt Lake County man between ages 45 and 64
  • A Salt Lake County woman between ages 45 and 64
  • Two Salt Lake County women between ages 65 and 84
  • A Box Elder County man between ages 65 and 84
  • A Davis County woman between ages 45 and 64

One Utah County man over the age of 85 was not hospitalized when he died, officials said.

The health department on Saturday began providing additional information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Utah. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has so far approved two vaccines, from Pfizer and Moderna, and the Pfizer vaccine has begun to be used in Utah. The health department reports that 3,648 first doses of the vaccine have been administered so far; the Pfizer vaccine requires two doses.

The department additionally reported that 23,400 vaccine doses have been shipped so far to Utah by the federal government.

"There will be a lag between when vaccines are shipped, administered to a person, and finally reported to the UDOH," the department said in an email. "For this reason, the number of people vaccinated will potentially lag behind the total number of vaccines shipped by 7 or more days."

Utah is currently in the process of vaccinating health care personnel in the state. Frontline workers who work with COVID-19 patients were deemed to be the highest priority for vaccination.

On Saturday, the health department said 559 Utahns are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 and that 218 of those patients are in intensive. The new case figure comes as 10,101 more Utahns were tested.

Over the past week, the state is averaging 2,454 new cases reported per day and a 22.1% positive test percentage.

There is no coronavirus news conference from state leaders scheduled for over the weekend. On Thursday, Gov. Gary Herbert announced during a conference that the state has ended its 10 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales at bars and restaurants, and also that Utah has relaxed its guidelines for when students will be required to quarantine after possible exposure to COVID-19.

A total of 85 coronavirus-related deaths were reported in Utah between Monday and Friday this week.

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.

Referral hospitals are the 16 Utah hospitals with the capability to provide the best COVID-19 health care.

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.

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