News / Utah / 

COVID-19 cases spike in Uinta Basin, but Utah in 'really good spot'

In this Saturday, May 15, 2021, file photo, empty vials of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine lie in a box during a vaccine campaign in Ebersberg near Munich, Germany. Health authorities are trying to determine whether heart inflammation that can occur along with many types of infections could also be a rare side effect in teens and young adults after the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

In this Saturday, May 15, 2021, file photo, empty vials of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine lie in a box during a vaccine campaign in Ebersberg near Munich, Germany. Health authorities are trying to determine whether heart inflammation that can occur along with many types of infections could also be a rare side effect in teens and young adults after the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)



SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's number of COVID-19 cases increased by 266 on Friday, with no new deaths and 37,700 vaccinations reported, according to the Utah Department of Health.

About 26,000 of the vaccinations reported Friday were backlogged doses that were administered as far back as Jan. 19 by one pharmacy provider, the health department said.

There are an estimated 5,338 active cases of COVID-19 in Utah as of Friday.

The rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 273, according to the health department. The positive test rate per day for that time period calculated with the "people over people" method is now 6.8%. The positive test rate per day for that time period calculated with the "test over test" method is now 4.4%.

While there has been a small surge of COVID-19 cases in Utah since the Memorial Day weekend, the state is still doing well, Intermountain Healthcare infectious diseases physician Dr. Eddie Stenehjem said Friday during an Intermountain Facebook Live event.

"What a difference the past few months have made," Stenehjem said. "We are in a really good spot."

Memorial Day marked a shift in the way most people are treating COVID-19 in Utah, Stenehjem said. More people are gathering more frequently, and fewer people are wearing masks.

The small spike Utah is enduring now isn't nearly as bad as spikes seen last winter after the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays, he added.

There are 157 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah, including 57 in intensive care, state data shows. About 75% of all intensive care unit hospital beds in Utah are now occupied, including 78% in the state's 16 referral hospitals, according to the health department. About 68% of non-ICU hospital beds are now occupied.

A total of 2,713,796 vaccine doses have been administered in the state, up from 2,676,026 Thursday. A total of 1,539,181 Utahns, or about 48% of the state's total population, has received at least a first dose of the vaccine. A total of 1,293,995 Utahns, about 40.4% of the total population, are fully vaccinated.

Among the population of Utahns ages 12 and older, who are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, about 59.4% have at least a first dose and 49.9% are fully vaccinated, according to state data. A total of 3,178,584 vaccine doses have been shipped to Utah since the pandemic began.

Right now, all the major COVID-19 variants are covered by the vaccines, Stenehjem said. However, since other countries don't have widespread access to the vaccine like in the U.S., the disease will continue to spread in other countries, he added. When the virus spreads through populations, there is potential for other variants to mutate.

"We are definitely going to be seeing continued global surges," he said.

The new numbers indicate a 0.07% increase in positive cases since Thursday. Of the 2,731,915 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 15% have tested positive for the disease. The number of total tests conducted in Utah since the pandemic began is now 4,996,139, up 7,094 since Thursday, according to the health department. Of those, 3,737 were tests of people who had not previously been tested for COVID-19.

Friday's totals give Utah 409,007 total confirmed cases, with 17,060 total hospitalizations and 2,319 total deaths from the disease. An estimated 401,350 Utah COVID-19 cases are now considered recovered, according to the health department.

TriCounty health district reporting COVID-19 surge

The TriCounty Health Department in eastern Utah is reporting a surge in COVID-19 cases over the last week.

There have been 83 new cases over the last five days in the TriCounty Health Department, which covers Daggett, Duchesne and Uintah counties in the northeast part of the state, according to a news release from the agency. That has more than doubled from the previous week — there were only 41 new cases reported in the district from May 30 to June 5.

Just 27% of eligible Utahns ages 12 and older have received the COVID-19 in the TriCounty district — the lowest rate of any district in the state, according to the health department. All 83 of the people who contracted COVID-19 over the past week had not been vaccinated.

"Although this is a small number who have had more severe illness with COVID-19 compared to those who have done well, we'd like to remind the community that it is all of our responsibility to protect our family, our neighbors, our co-workers and our community," Greg Gardiner, chief clinical officer at Ashley Regional Medical Center in Vernal, said in a statement.

"The vaccine works. If you have not received the vaccine, please reconsider. Let's get to herd immunity the safest way possible."

The health district will be offering drive-thru vaccination clinics on Saturday at Duchesne High School from 9-11 a.m., at Utah State University's Roosevelt campus from 1-3 p.m., and at the Vernal TriCounty Health Department from 1-3 p.m.

More outbreaks are likely in the region if vaccination rates don't improve, the health district said.

"At our current low vaccination rates, I expect to see continued outbreaks. I ask all community members who have been waiting to get vaccinated to stop delaying and get vaccinated this week. We can end this pandemic right now and enjoy a summer without masks and without worry if we all do this together," TriCounty health officer Kirk Benge 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.

SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast