SALT LAKE CITY — Utah health officials reported over 600 new COVID-19 cases Friday for the third time in the last nine days as the state deals with a midsummer spike in cases that is overwhelming hospitals.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Utah increased by 669 on Friday, with four more deaths and 6,358 vaccinations reported, according to the Utah Department of Health.
It is the second day in a row that Utah has reported over 600 cases in a single day; 693 new cases were reported Thursday. State health officials reported 668 new cases on July 8, which at the time was the highest single-day case total since 699 cases were reported on March 17.
But the good news is that Utah's COVID-19 spike appears to be accompanied by a slight rise in new vaccinations, according to Gov. Spencer Cox. At a news conference Thursday, Cox speculated that many people who thought they didn't need to be vaccinated as long as cases were going down may now have changed their minds as cases have been climbing over the past several weeks.
"They are moving in a positive direction," Cox said about vaccinations. "We desperately need you to get vaccinated."
A total of 2,938,074 vaccine doses have been administered in the state, up from 2,931,716 Thursday. There are now a total of 1,620,127 Utahns — or about 50.5% of the population — who have received at least a first vaccine dose, according to health department data. A total of 1,444,433 Utahns — or about 45.1% of the state's total population — are now fully vaccinated.
Among Utahns ages 12 and older, who are currently eligible to receive the vaccines, about 62.5% have received at least one dose and 55.7% are fully vaccinated.
Utah's rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 522, according to the health department. The positive test rate per day for that time period calculated with the "people over people" method is now 13.8%. The positive test rate per day for that time period calculated with the "test over test" method is now 9.3%.
There are 281 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah, including 108 in intensive care units, state data shows.
About 83% of Utah ICU hospital beds are now occupied, including about 86% of ICU beds in the state's 16 referral hospitals. That capacity means that the 16 referral hospitals are overwhelmed and are out of staff to attend to ICU beds, according to the health department.
The four deaths reported Friday were:
- A Cache County woman over the age of 85 who was not hospitalized when she died
- A Salt Lake County man, 25-44, who was hospitalized when he died
- A Salt Lake County woman, 45-64, hospitalized
- A Tooele County man, 45-64, who was a resident of a long-term care facility
One death of a Salt Lake County woman who was over the age of 85 that was reported Thursday as a COVID-19 death was removed from the total death count after further investigation, the health department said.
The number of total COVID-19 tests conducted in Utah since the pandemic began is now 5,202,362, up 8,100 since Thursday. Of those, 4,711 were tests of people who hadn't previously been tested for COVID-19.
Of the 2,852,401 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 14.8% have tested positive for COVID-19.
Friday's totals give Utah 422,619 total confirmed cases, with 18,020 total hospitalizations and 2,413 total deaths from the disease.
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.