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21 deaths, 2,189 new COVID cases Friday; Intermountain postpones nonurgent surgeries

This undated photo shows Intermountain Healthcare staffers working in a hospital during the early COVID-19 pandemic. On Friday Utah health officials reported 2,189 new cases of COVID-19 and 21 deaths; Intermountain Healthcare also announced a postponement of many non-urgent surgeries due to the number of COVID-19 patients they're caring for.

This undated photo shows Intermountain Healthcare staffers working in a hospital during the early COVID-19 pandemic. On Friday Utah health officials reported 2,189 new cases of COVID-19 and 21 deaths; Intermountain Healthcare also announced a postponement of many non-urgent surgeries due to the number of COVID-19 patients they're caring for. (Intermountain Healthcare)



SALT LAKE CITY — Utah health officials reported 21 new COVID-19 deaths on Friday and 2,189 new COVID-19 cases.

School-age children accounted for 544 of those new cases — 210 cases were ages 5-10, 155 cases were 11-13, and 179 cases were 14-17, according to the update released by the Utah Department of Health.

The rolling, seven-day average for new cases stands at 1,511, and the percent positivity rate is 12.2%. On Friday, 529 patients were hospitalized with the coronavirus in Utah, 13 more than were hospitalized the previous day.

Referral intensive care units that can treat the most serious patients were 93.4% full, and overall ICU use stands at 91.9%. Hospital beds in non-ICUs across the state were 63.7% full.

Also on Friday, Intermountain Healthcare leaders announced that 13 hospitals will postpone many nonurgent surgeries for several weeks starting Sept. 15.

"Today's a day I wish had never come," said Dr. Mark Harrison, Intermountain Healthcare president and CEO.

With ICUs at more than 100% capacity because of COVID-19 patients — the majority of whom are unvaccinated — and other patients, the hospitals no longer have enough beds or enough staff to handle all of it, according to Harrison.

"The cavalry is not coming. We are the cavalry. When I say we, I mean the community as a whole," he said.

Harrison stressed that patients will now need to wait for those surgeries meant to address serious, time-dependent issues. While expressing "immense sympathy" for the whole community, including the unvaccinated, Harrison emphasized that no patient in an Intermountain hospital has suffered negative reactions from the vaccine.

He urged Utahns to "please identify accurate information" and "open your heart" to health care professionals as they try to care for everyone who needs medical attention.

Health workers across the state administered 7,445 vaccine doses sinceThursday, bringing total vaccinations given in Utah to 3,323,167.

In the last 28 days, unvaccinated residents have faced 4.6 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19, 6.4 times greater risk of being hospitalized due to COVID-19, and 5.4 times greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people, according to the Utah Department of Health. Since Feb. 1, people who are unvaccinated are at 5.1 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19, 5.2 times greater risk of being hospitalized due to COVID-19, and 4.5 times greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people.

As of Friday, the state has seen 12,792 breakthrough cases among those fully vaccinated more than two weeks previously, 682 breakthrough hospitalizations and 70 breakthrough deaths.

The latest deaths:

  • Two Davis County women, both older than 85, both long-term care facility residents.
  • A Kane County woman, older than 85, who was not hospitalized when she died.
  • A Juab County man, older than 85, hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County man, 18-24, not hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County man, 25-44, not hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County woman, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County woman, 65-84, not hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County man, 65-84, not hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County woman, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Sanpete County man, 25-44, hospitalized.
  • A Sanpete County man, older than 85, hospitalized.
  • A Utah County man, 45-64, not hospitalized.
  • A Utah County man, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • A Utah County woman, 45-64, not hospitalized.
  • A Utah County woman, 65-84, not hospitalized.
  • A Wasatch County man, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • A Washington County man, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • A Washington County man, older than 85, a long-term care facility resident.
  • A Washington County man, older than 85, hospitalized.
  • A Weber County woman, 45-64, not hospitalized.

Contributing: Jenny Rollins

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