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Six of the deaths occurred before Jan. 15, according to the health department.
The agency estimates there are now 26,907 active cases of COVID-19 in Utah. The rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 1,025, according to the health department. The positive test rate per day for that time period reported via the "people over people" method is now 14.7%. The rate calculated with the "test over test" method is now 6.6%.
The "people over people" method is calculated by dividing the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 by the total number of people tested and has been used by the health department since the beginning of the pandemic.
This week, the health department began reporting the "test over test" method — which is calculated by dividing the total number of positive tests by the total number of tests administered — in addition to the "people over people" method.
Friday, the health department made another change, this time with the transmission index system for categorizing the COVID-19 transmission rate among individual counties in the state.
The transmission index will now refer to the seven-day positivity percentage calculated with the "test over test" method rather than the "people over people" method.
The transmission index categorizes each county in Utah as high, moderate or low risk for COVID-19 transmission based on three factors: the seven-day average percent positivity in that county, the 14-day case rate per 100,000 people in the county, and the seven-day average statewide intensive care unit utilization.
The county must fall within a certain range in at least two of those metrics to be categorized as high, moderate or low transmission. The criteria for a county to be rated in the low transmission level are a seven-day positivity rate of 5.9% or lower, a 14-day case rate of 100 per 100,000 people and statewide ICU usage of 68.9% or lower, and a county must fall in that range for at least two out of the three metrics to be considered a low transmission level county.
The health department will now be using the "test over test" method to calculate the seven-day average percent positivity for counties under the transmission index.
"It looks like we're moving in the right direction with this methodology established," said health department executive director Rich Saunders on Friday.
The transmission index is revisited each week and is revised on Wednesdays if counties move from one level to another. As of this week, Daggett, Garfield, Piute and Rich counties are rated at the low transmission level, according to the health department. Morgan and San Juan counties are rated at the moderate transmission level, and all other counties in the state are rated at the high transmission level.
More information about the transmission index is available at coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-health-guidance-levels.
There are now 312 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah, including 118 in intensive care, state data shows. About 84% of Utah intensive care unit beds are filled as of Friday, including about 87% of beds in the state's 16 referral hospitals. About 56% of Utah's non-ICU hospital beds are filled as of Monday.
A total of 489,716 vaccines have been administered in the state, up from 462,720 Thursday. Of those, 140,293 are second doses of the vaccine.
The new numbers indicate a 0.3% increase in positive cases since Thursday. Of the 2,110,759 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 17% have tested positive for COVID-19. The number of total tests conducted since the beginning of the pandemic is now 3,566,559 — up 20,095 since Thursday, according to the health department. Of those, 7,143 were tests of people who had not previously been tested for COVID-19.
The 11 deaths reported Friday were:
- A Box Elder County man who was between the ages of 25 and 44 and was hospitalized when he died
- A Cache County woman who was over the age of 85 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
- A Cache County man who was over the age of 85 and was not hospitalized when he died
- A Davis County woman who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when she died
- An Iron County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died
- A Salt Lake County man who was between the ages of 45 and 64 and was hospitalized when he died
- A Tooele County woman who was over the age of 85 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
- A Tooele County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died
- A Utah County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died
- A Wasatch County man who was over the age of 85 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
- A Weber County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
Friday's totals give Utah 359,641 total confirmed cases, with 14,103 total hospitalizations and 1,785 total deaths from the disease. An estimated 330,949 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 Friday. Utah state leaders provided a pandemic update at a Thursday morning news conference.
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.