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'We aren't out of the woods yet': Utah sees highest daily count of COVID-19 cases since April

Health care worker Nadia Swanson, left, gives Carlos Ramirez, right, a COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccination event at Reams in Magna on Monday, May 3, 2021.

Health care worker Nadia Swanson, left, gives Carlos Ramirez, right, a COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccination event at Reams in Magna on Monday, May 3, 2021. (Annie Barker, Deseret News)



SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health reported 527 new cases of COVID-19, three new deaths and 7,076 new vaccinations administered in Utah on Wednesday.

A server issue caused a delay in cases reported by ARUP Laboratories, which means that the increase in cases is partially due to that issue, the health department said. However, the delay accounted for fewer than 40 cases.

"The increase in cases serves as a reminder that we aren't out of the woods yet, and it remains critical for Utahns to get vaccinated, limit your contact with others who are not part of your usual circle, wear a mask when you can't physical distance, stay home if you're sick, and wash your hands often," Utah Department of Health officials said of the sudden increase in COVID-19 cases.

Today is the first day since April 27 that the Utah Department of Health has reported more than 500 new COVID-19 cases in a single day.

The rolling seven-day average for positive cases in the state is now at 311, up from 295 on Tuesday. On June 1, the average was 213.

The increase in cases comes a day after a researcher at the University of Utah said that unvaccinated Utahns should expect to be infected at some point with the highly contagious delta variant that may make them sicker.

Experts say vaccinations offer strong protection against the delta variant, and the vast majority of cases, hospitalizations and deaths since March 23 — the day the state opened vaccine eligibility to all adults — have been among unvaccinated people.

A total of 2,802,453 vaccine doses have been administered in Utah, with approximately 60% of Utahns over age 12 having one shot and 52% fully vaccinated. Utahns under the age of 12 are not eligible for vaccination yet.

The Associated Press said that the delta variant accounts for half of new cases in multiple U.S. states, including Utah. The delta variant also accounts for more than 20% of new COVID-19 infections in the U.S., doubling its infection percentage in just two weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Sankar Swaminathan, chief of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Utah, estimated that about 30% of positive tests in the Beehive State now are due to the mutant strain but said it's uncertain how many so-called "breakthrough cases" it's caused among those fully vaccinated. However, due to the variant's new emergence, it is possible that is already the dominant strain in the state.

The rolling seven-day average for percent of positive COVID-19 tests as calculated by the "people over people" method is now 8.6%. The rolling seven-day average for percent positivity as calculated by the "tests over tests" method is now 5.7%.

An additional 7,454 COVID-19 tests were conducted on 4,539 people to give Wednesday's positivity rates.

Today, 167 Utahns are hospitalized with COVID-19.

Three additional people have died from their infections with COVID-19:

  • A Utah County man between the ages of 25 and 44 who was hospitalized at his time of his death
  • A Box Elder County woman between the ages of 25 and 44 who was hospitalized at her time of her death
  • A Salt Lake County man between the ages of 65 and 85 who was not hospitalized at his time of his death

The additional deaths from COVID-19 bring Utah's total to 2,336, with 17,347 hospitalizations. Utah's total number of COVID-19 cases is now 412,546.

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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