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268 new Utah COVID-19 cases, 12,807 vaccinations reported Wednesday

Health care worker Qing Chong prepares COVID-19 vaccines for a pop-up vaccination event at Reams in Magna on Monday, May 3, 2021. The Salt Lake County Health Department is doing vaccination pop-up events with its mobile health center.

(Annie Barker, Deseret News)



SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's number of new COVID-19 cases increased by 268 on Wednesday, with 12,807 more vaccinations and no more deaths reported, according to the Utah Department of Health.

There are now an estimated 6,394 active COVID-19 cases in Utah, according to the health department.

The rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 239, according to the health department. The positive test rate per day for that time period calculated with the "people over people" method is now 6.6%. The positive test rate per day for that time period calculated with the "test over test" method is now 3.8%.

There are 145 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah, including 57 in intensive care units, state data shows. About 69% of Utah's ICU hospital beds are now occupied, including 72% of ICU beds in the state's 16 referral hospitals, state data shows. About 56% of non-ICU hospital beds in the state are now occupied, according to the health department.

A total of 2,542,470 vaccines have been administered in the state so far, up from 2,529,663 Tuesday. A total of 1,464,550 Utahns, or about 45.7% of the state's population, have now received at least a first dose of the vaccine. There are now 1,187,785 Utahns, or about 37% of the total population, who are fully vaccinated, according to the health department.

About 56.5% of Utahns age 12 and older, who are currently eligible to receive the vaccine, have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the health department. About 45.8% of the 12-and-older population is now fully vaccinated in Utah.

Wednesday's new numbers indicate a 0.07% increase in positive cases since Tuesday. Of the 2,674,942 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 15.1% have tested positive for the disease. The number of total tests conducted in Utah since the pandemic began is now 4,893,026, up 8,916 since Tuesday. Of those, 4,525 were tests of people who hadn't previously been tested for COVID-19.

Wednesday's totals give Utah 405,078 total confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 16,729 total hospitalizations and 2,292 total deaths from the disease. A total of 396,392 Utah COVID-19 cases are now considered recovered, according to the health department.

Pandemic prompts rise in mental health issues, experts say

Mental health professionals on Tuesday said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a "tremendous impact" on mental and behavioral health and well-being for people.

"It's changed our coping skills and our coping strategies," Dr. Mark Foote, Intermountain Healthcare's senior medical director of behavioral health, said during a Facebook Live session Tuesday.

People who previously were able to go out and meet with people and interact with family and friends were suddenly unable to do that, so it was a big shift for them, added Rob Wesemann, executive director of National Alliance on Mental Health, or NAMI, in Utah.

At NAMI, mental health support groups that were held in person had to move to Zoom or another virtual platform, Wesemann said.

"Our support systems got shifted entirely," he said.

There's been a major increase in demand for mental health treatment resources, Foote added. To accommodate that, Intermountain created a navigation hotline for behavioral health services that can be reached at 833-442-2211.

People can call the number and talk with an Intermountain caregiver about their behavioral health needs, and they can then be connected with other caregivers to schedule appointments for further treatment, according to a news release from the company.

Lots of people just didn't know where to go when they had a mental or behavioral health need, Foote said.

"We feel that distress that's out in the community," he said.

For people who are struggling with mental health brought on by the pandemic, Foote recommended starting by working on things that are within your own control. Limit your interaction with things that stress you out, and make sure to break the isolation by spending time with family and friends, he said. Spending time participating in your own hobbies or interests is important, too, he added.

Getting back into familiar rhythms can also help reduce stress, Foote said. Exercise regularly, keep a consistent sleep schedule, and eat meals at the same time every day, he said.

People should also make an effort to talk to people close to them who might be struggling with their mental health, Wesemann said. You don't have to resolve the person's mental health situation, but asking how they're doing can be hugely helpful, he added.

"Reach out. It will make a difference," he said.

Methodology

See more details about KSL.com's COVID-19 data and methodology by clicking this link.

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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