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Unvaccinated 7.6 times more likely to die than vaccinated Utahns, state data shows

A worker prepares a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic at the North Davis Senior Center in Clearfield on March 26. The Utah Department of Health reported 1,243 new COVID-19 cases, three deaths and 10,622 vaccinations on Thursday.

A worker prepares a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic at the North Davis Senior Center in Clearfield on March 26. The Utah Department of Health reported 1,243 new COVID-19 cases, three deaths and 10,622 vaccinations on Thursday. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)



SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns who aren't vaccinated against COVID-19 are 7.6 times more likely to die from the disease than those who are vaccinated, according to state data collected from the last four weeks.

In addition, the Utah Department of Health reported 1,243 new cases on Thursday, breaking the state's previous summer 2021 record for most cases in a single day of 1,211 cases reported on July 30. It is Utah's highest single-day COVID-19 case total since Feb. 10, when 1,299 cases were reported.

Three more coronavirus deaths were also reported Thursday, and 388 patients are currently hospitalized throughout Utah with COVID-19. And 10,622 more vaccinations have been issued, according to Thursday's report.

The health department also released new data that shows the risk of testing positive, being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19 for unvaccinated people compared to those who are vaccinated. In the past 28 days, people who aren't vaccinated have been 6.9 times more likely to be hospitalized, and five times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than those who are vaccinated.

Since Feb. 1, the risk of dying from COVID-19 is 10.7 times greater for unvaccinated Utahns than vaccinated residents. Unvaccinated people in Utah are also 6.2 times more likely to be hospitalized and 5.9 times more likely to test positive over that time period, according to health department data.

Those rates get worse the younger the age group is.

Among Utahns ages 12 to 18, the youngest population that is eligible for the vaccines, anyone unvaccinated is 9.4 times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than someone who is vaccinated. For people age 19 to 29, the unvaccinated are 7.3 times more likely to test positive.

Amid rising numbers, the Navajo Nation will return to an "orange" status for businesses, schools, and in-person gatherings on Monday, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez announced Thursday. The Navajo Nation's mask mandate remains in effect but no daily curfew or lockdown are currently in effect.

"We've been in this pandemic for over a year now and we should all know how to protect ourselves. The difference between this time last year and the uprise in cases we are seeing now, is that we have a high percentage of our people vaccinated and our public health experts have provided us with the guidance to reduce the spread of the virus," said Nez.

Under the orange status, Navajo businesses will operate at 50% capacity. Schools — especially in high transmission areas — are encouraged to implement more aggressive social distancing measures, institute hybrid learning when possible, limit gatherings outside of the classroom to 15 or fewer people, utilize virtual learning for students 12 years and younger and require all those who are sick to stay home.

Additional in-person gatherings are limited to 25 people or fewer and drive-in gatherings are limited to a maximum of 50 people, according to the Navajo Nation public health orders.

Utah's rolling seven-day average for new positive cases each day is now at 843. The positive test rate per day for that time period calculated with the "people over people" method is now 13.5%. The positive test rate per day for that time period calculated with the "test over test" method is now 9.7%.

Of the 388 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, 151 are in intensive care units, according to the health department. About 81% of ICU beds at Utah hospitals are now occupied, including 84% of ICU beds at the state's 16 referral hospitals. About 62% of Utah's non-ICU hospital beds are occupied.

A total of 3,107,938 vaccine doses have now been administered in Utah, according to the health department. A total of 1,727,177 Utahns, or about 53.9% of the total state population, have received at least a first dose, and 1,513,279, or about 47.2% of the state population, are now fully vaccinated.

For vaccine-eligible Utahns ages 12 and older, 66.6% have received at least a first vaccine dose, and 58.4% are fully vaccinated.

The three deaths reported Thursday were all Utah County residents, including a woman between the ages of 65 and 84 who was hospitalized when she died; a man, 65-84, not hospitalized; and another man between 45 and 64 who was hospitalized.

Of the 2,996,050 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah since the outbreak began in March 2020, 14.8% have tested positive for COVID-19. The number of total tests conducted since the pandemic began in Utah is now at 5,444,837, up 13,833 since Wednesday. Of those, 8,305 were tests of people who hadn't previously been tested for COVID-19.

Thursday's totals give Utah 443,488 total confirmed cases, with 19,193 total hospitalizations and 2,521 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.

Contributing: Ashley Fredde, KSL.com

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