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Registered nurse Sarah Smith tests a patient for COVID-19 as University of Utah Health's Wellness Bus visits a neighborhood in West Valley City on Wednesday, July 15, 2020. The 40-foot RV was specially designed to travel to underserved neighborhoods to provide health consultations, screenings and education.

Jeffrey D. Allred, KSL, File

Health department reports 1,994 new COVID-19 cases as 3,600 are now vaccinated in Utah

By Graham Dudley, | Updated - Dec. 20, 2020 at 1:01 p.m. | Posted - Dec. 20, 2020 at 12:49 p.m.

SALT LAKE CITY — As a second coronavirus vaccine prepares to enter the mix in Utah, the state health department Sunday reported it has confirmed 1,994 new COVID-19 cases and seven deaths from the disease statewide.

The numbers bring Utah to 250,964 total confirmed cases and 1,155 deaths since the pandemic began.

In an email, the health department said the Utahns who died include:

  • An Iron County man between ages 65 and 84 who was hospitalized when he died
  • A Morgan County woman between ages 65 and 84 who was hospitalized
  • A Salt Lake County woman between ages 65 and 84 who was hospitalized
  • A Salt Lake County man between ages 65 and 84 who was the resident of a long-term care facility
  • A Sanpete County man between ages 45 and 64 who was hospitalized
  • A Utah County woman between ages 65 and 84 who was hospitalized
  • A Washington County man between ages 65 and 84 who was hospitalized

As of Sunday, the health department reports it has administered 3,648 first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and that 23,400 doses have been shipped to Utah from the federal government. The vaccines require multiple doses.

There are currently 557 Utahns reported hospitalized due to COVID-19, 201 of which are in intensive care. The health department says about 95% of the state's overall ICU capacity is being used, including 98.7% of its "referral center" ICU beds at the 16 Utah hospitals with the best ability to care for coronavirus patients.

There have now been just over 10,000 total Utahns hospitalized because of COVID-19. They've been split almost exactly evenly between men and women, their average age has been 55 and 62% were considered "high-risk" individuals.

Over the past week, the state is averaging 2,442 new reported cases per day and a positive test percentage of 22.76. Sunday's new case figure came as 8,663 more Utahns were tested.

State leaders are urging continued caution as Utahns prepare to celebrate Christmas this week.

This week


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

Information is from the Utah Department of Health and For more information on how the Utah Department of Health compiles and reports COVID-19 data, visit and scroll down to the "Data Notes" section at the bottom of the page.

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