In past 6 months, 98.5% of Utah COVID-19 deaths were unvaccinated, doctor says

A COVID-19 test is processed at the Utah State Fairpark in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 6. More than 2,200 new COVID-19 cases and 9 deaths were confirmed over the Pioneer Day holiday weekend.

A COVID-19 test is processed at the Utah State Fairpark in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 6. More than 2,200 new COVID-19 cases and 9 deaths were confirmed over the Pioneer Day holiday weekend. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)



SALT LAKE CITY — The vast majority of Utah's recent COVID-19 cases have been unvaccinated patients, Intermountain Healthcare officials confirmed Monday as the state reported another 2,269 cases from the holiday weekend.

Over the last week, 89.7% of Utah's coronavirus cases had not received vaccines, said Intermountain Healthcare hospitalist Dr. Taki May.

And of the Utahns who have died from the disease since Jan. 16, 98.5% were not vaccinated, according to May.

Nine additional COVID-19 deaths were also confirmed since Thursday, the last day the state reported numbers before the holiday weekend. The state health department no longer reports case counts over the weekend. State offices were closed on Friday in observance of Pioneer Day.

Here is a breakdown of the previous four days' case counts:

  • Thursday: 768
  • Friday: 672
  • Saturday: 506
  • Sunday: 329

Six previously reported cases of the virus were removed from the state's overall total cases after analysis, according to the Utah Department of Health.

Just over 20,500 more vaccines were administered since Thursday's report, bringing the state's total vaccinations to 2,989,690.

Currently, 343 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in hospitals throughout Utah.

"Right now, we have high volumes of patients in the hospital, and we're really nervous about our COVID numbers rising because we remember what it was like when it was really bad. And I fear that we're heading there again," May, who works at Logan Regional Hospital, said during a news conference.

While hospitals are prepared as they've dealt with the disease for more than a year, the stress of the pandemic "really did hit health care providers in a significant way," causing many to move into other areas of care or leave the profession entirely, according to May.

"We're seeing a real staffing problem, so we're bursting at the seams, and if we have more patients with COVID coming in, that's really going to stress us out," May said.

She said she hasn't personally seen any patients express regret that they hadn't gotten the vaccine, but "I know that those patients with COVID that I have taken care of, they recognize now that the vaccine would've been an opportunity for them."

May said she's also seen her first case of a fully-vaccinated patient with the virus in the hospital — the first one out of "many, many" cases at the hospital recently.

"We know the vaccine's not 100%, we do know it protects against severe COVID-19 in most cases," May said.

The cases since Thursday were confirmed out of 15,683 people tested, for a positive rate of about 14.5%. The rolling seven-day average for positive tests is 646 per day, and the average positivity rate for people tested for the disease is 14.6%.

Seven counties are in Utah's high-transmission status: Box Elder, Iron, Juab, Sevier, Uintah, Utah and Washington. That is down from 12 counties earlier this month.

Thirteen counties are at the moderate level: Cache, Carbon, Davis, Duchesne, Millard, Morgan, Salt Lake, San Juan, Sanpete, Summit, Tooele, Wasatch and Weber.

The new deaths bring the state's total since the pandemic began to 2,434. They include:

  • A Tooele County man between the ages of 65 and 84 who was not hospitalized when he died.
  • A woman of unknown age and unknown residence who was hospitalized when she died.
  • A Salt Lake County man, 45-64, who was hospitalized.
  • A Davis County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Box Elder County woman, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Washington County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County woman, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • A Weber County man, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • A Washington County man, 45-64, hospitalized.

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