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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah reported over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases Thursday for the first time since February amid a surge in the disease among unvaccinated people.
"Today's case count is another step in the wrong direction for our state. But we remain confident in vaccines to help us turn the tide," Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said in a statement Thursday.
"Unfortunately, nearly everyone who is getting sick — and who will end up in the hospital because of today's case counts — is unvaccinated," Cox said. "This pandemic of the unvaccinated is tragic because it is preventable.
"It has never been easier to get a vaccine. While we are encouraged by increases in vaccinations, we need more people to protect themselves and their families."
The health department said 8,122 more vaccine doses were administered as of Thursday. That's a slightly higher daily vaccination total than normal; daily vaccinations have typically been in the 5,000-7,000 range recently.
As of Thursday, 1,663,825 Utahns — or about 51.9% of the state's total population — have received at least one vaccine dose. A total of 1,475,806 residents — about 46% of Utah's population — are now fully vaccinated. Among vaccine-eligible Utahns ages 12 and older, 64.2% have received at least one vaccine dose, and 56.9% are fully vaccinated.
A total of 353 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized in Utah as of Thursday, the health department reported. Three deaths were also reported, though one occurred before July 1.
The rolling seven-day average for positive cases in the state is now at 691. The positive test rate per day for that time period calculated with the "people over people" method is now 14.7%. The positive test rate per day for that time period calculated with the "test over test" method is now 10.4%.
Of the 353 hospitalized patients, 156 are in intensive care units, according to the health department. About 86% of ICU hospital beds are now occupied in Utah, including about 89% of ICU beds in the state's 16 referral hospitals. Those occupancy rates indicate that Utah's hospitals are essentially not able to provide staff for any more ICU beds.
The three deaths reported Thursday were:
- A Salt Lake County woman between the ages of 45 and 64 who was hospitalized when she died.
- A Salt Lake County woman, older than 85, long-term care facility resident.
- A Utah County woman, 65-84, not hospitalized.
So far during the pandemic, 4,085 "breakthrough" cases have been reported in Utah, according to health department data. "Breakthrough" cases refer to confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses in people who are fully vaccinated, and they're rare. Just 0.28% of fully-vaccinated Utahns have had a breakthrough COVID-19 case.
Breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths are even more rare. There have been 274 breakthrough hospitalizations reported in Utah, which equates to just 0.019% of fully-vaccinated Utahns. There have been 10 breakthrough deaths in Utah, which is a breakthrough death rate of less than a thousandth of a percent.
Of the 2,910,907 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 14.8% have tested positive. The number of total tests conducted in Utah is now at 5,300,071, up 9,993 since Wednesday. Of those, 5,757 were tests of people who had not previously been tested for COVID-19.
Thursday's totals give Utah 431,256 total confirmed cases, with 18,526 total hospitalizations and 2,450 total deaths from the disease. A total of 3,009,957 vaccine doses have now been administered.
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.