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Utah reaches 70% vaccinated goal, but it isn't an 'endgame,' Cox says

Jamie Bone, a Davis County Health Department registered nurse, prepares a syringe of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Legacy Center Indoor Arena in Farmington on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. Seventy percent of all Utah adults now have at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Spencer Cox's office confirmed Tuesday.

Jamie Bone, a Davis County Health Department registered nurse, prepares a syringe of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Legacy Center Indoor Arena in Farmington on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. Seventy percent of all Utah adults now have at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Spencer Cox's office confirmed Tuesday. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)



SALT LAKE CITY — Seventy percent of all Utah adults now have at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the state reported 1,149 new cases of the disease over the holiday weekend.

This weekend, the Utah Department of Health stopped reporting new cases on days that aren't official business days, so Tuesday's report included the following breakdown of new cases from the July 4 weekend:

  • Friday, July 2: 481 new cases
  • Saturday, July 3: 349 new cases
  • Sunday, July 4: 161 new cases
  • Monday, July 5: 165 new cases

The rolling seven-day average for new cases is now at 386 per day, according to the health department. The agency also reported seven more deaths, 13,878 new vaccinations and 274 current hospitalizations.

Gov. Spencer Cox's office confirmed Utah met the 70% goal Tuesday, though the state appears to be using outdated population data to calculate that vaccination rate.

The governor's office had set the goal of seeing 70% of Utahns age 18 and older get at least their first shot of the vaccine by July 4. The state met that goal as of Tuesday.

"This is truly a milestone worth celebrating," Cox's office said on Twitter. "Most of all, we're grateful for all the nurses, doctors, health care workers, hospitals and volunteers … who continue to work tirelessly to get us all vaccinated!"

As of July 4, the Utah Department of Health reported that 65.2% of Utah adults had received at least their first dose, the governor's office said. However, Cox's office said that percentage doesn't count 114,908 vaccine doses that were administered in Utah through federal government agencies such as the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs and Indian Health Services.

With those additional doses, 1,596,999 Utahns have received their first dose of the vaccine, Cox's office said. The governor's office reported Utah's adult population at 2,274,774, so about 70.2% of the adult population now has at least their first dose.

"And this number is only going to go up," Cox's office tweeted.

The U.S. Census Bureau's most recent data estimates Utah's total population at about 3,271,616, with about 948,769 of those, or 29%, under age 18. Using that data, the percentage of Utah adults who have at least a first dose is closer to 68.75%.

However, Utah leaders, including Cox, have said the 70% goal is somewhat arbitrary. They will continue working to vaccinate as many people as they can and exceed the 70% goal statewide, the governor's office added Tuesday in a news release.

"Even if we do hit 70%, it doesn't mean that's the endgame," Cox said at a news conference last week.

Utah's positive test rate per day for the last seven days calculated with the "people over people" method is now 11.3%. The positive test rate per day for that time period calculated with the "test over test" method is now 7.7%.

The 274 hospitalized COVID-19 patients include 92 in intensive care, according to the health department. About 71% of Utah's intensive care unit hospital beds are now occupied, including about 74% of ICU beds in the state's 16 referral hospitals, the health department reported. About 51% of non-ICU hospital beds are now occupied, according to the health department.

A total of 2,884,956 vaccine doses have now been administered in Utah, up from 2,871,078 Friday. A total of 1,590,807 Utahns, or about 49.6% of the state's population, have now received at least a first dose of the vaccine, while 1,417,340, or 44.2% of the population, are fully vaccinated, according to the health department.

Among Utahns ages 12 and older, who are currently eligible to receive the vaccines, 61.4% have received at least a first dose and 54.7% are fully vaccinated.

Cox's office thanked people who have gotten vaccinated, as well as the Utah Department of Health and local health departments across the state for their efforts to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

"They scrambled to take the lead on setting up mass vaccine sites all across the state, and continue to provide vaccines in their communities," the news release says.

Cox's office also thanked the Salt Lake Chamber for starting the "Bring it Home" campaign, which encourages businesses to support employees who want to get vaccinated.

Cox's office added that the pandemic isn't over, and the state isn't out of the woods yet. Utah has been enduring a small surge in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations thought to be driven mostly by the spread of the delta variant among unvaccinated people.

"We're still very concerned about the recent rise in cases and hospitalizations," the news release says. "And some parts of the state, including many of our rural areas and communities of color, remain below 70% vaccinated."

Tuesday's new numbers indicate a 0.28% increase in positive cases since Friday. Of the 2,812,829 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 14.8% have tested positive for COVID-19. The number of total tests conducted in Utah since the pandemic began is now at 5,134,408, up 14,683 since Friday. Of those, 9,468 were tests of people who had not previously been tested for COVID-19.

The seven deaths reported Tuesday were:

  • A Davis County man who was over the age of 85 and was not hospitalized when he died
  • A Davis County man who was between the ages of 45 and 64 and was hospitalized when he died
  • A Salt Lake County woman who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was not hospitalized when she died
  • A Summit County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was not hospitalized when he died
  • A Utah County woman who was between the ages of 45 and 64 and was hospitalized when she died
  • A Utah County woman who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when she died
  • A Washington County woman who was over the age of 85 and was not hospitalized when she died

Tuesday's totals give Utah 417,259 total confirmed cases, with 17,636 total hospitalizations and 2,385 total deaths from the disease.

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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