Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
SALT LAKE CITY — After several days of near-record COVID-19 hospitalizations in Utah, the state saw a large drop in hospitalizations on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, 471 patients were hospitalized with the coronavirus, 110 fewer than were reported to have been hospitalized the previous day, according to a daily update from the Utah Department of Health. Previously, hospitalizations due to coronavirus had lingered in the high-500s for some time.
When asked whether the large drop in hospitalizations is accurate, a spokesman with the Utah Department of Health said it is the number the agency received and officials are looking into it.
Officials with University of Utah Health and Intermountain Healthcare said patient counts have remained consistent across hospitals in their systems, aside from some slight drops in the last few days. Additional information was not immediately available.
Referral intensive care units — that can treat the most serious patients — remained full, at 95.9% of capacity. Overall, ICU bed use stands at 94.8% while non-ICUs across the state are now 59.9% full, according to the health department.
Utah health officials also confirmed 1,786 new COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths on Wednesday. School-aged children accounted for 405 of the new cases — 176 cases were ages 5-10, 105 cases were 11-13, and 124 were 14-17.
The rolling, seven-day average for positive tests is 1,341 per day, and the percent positivity rate of those tested is 14%.
Since Monday, 35,576 residents received a COVID-19 vaccine dose, health officials said. Explaining the higher-than-average number, the health department noted that 29,100 of them were booster doses that are not yet reported on the statewide data dashboard.
According to the state health department, in the last 28 days, unvaccinated residents have faced 5.4 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19, 7.6 times greater risk of being hospitalized due to the disease, and 6.5 times greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people.
Since Feb. 1, the unvaccinated have seen a 4.0 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19, 4.9 times greater risk of being hospitalized, and 4.2 times greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people, the data shows.
Of the cases reported Wednesday, 341 were confirmed as "breakthrough" cases, meaning they had been fully vaccinated more than two weeks ago. The state also confirmed 15 new breakthrough hospitalizations and six breakthrough deaths, according to the data.
State health officials and doctors have noted receiving the vaccine does not mean someone will not contract the coronavirus, but in most cases it is protective against serious illness. The vaccine also does not cause a person to get COVID-19.
Since vaccines became available to the public early this year, the state has confirmed 17,629 breakthrough cases, 902 breakthrough hospitalizations and 120 breakthrough deaths.
The latest deaths include:
- A Davis County man, between the ages of 45 and 64, who was hospitalized when he died.
- A Davis County woman, 65-84, hospitalized.
- A Salt Lake County man, 25-44, hospitalized.
- A Salt Lake County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
- A Salt Lake County man, older than 85, long-term care facility resident.
- A Salt Lake County man, 65-84, long-term care facility resident.
- A Tooele County woman, 65-84, not hospitalized.
- A Utah County woman, 18-24, not hospitalized.
- Three Utah County men, 65-84, hospitalized.
- A Utah County man, older than 85, not hospitalized.
- A Utah County man, 65-84, not hospitalized.
- A Weber County woman, 65-84, hospitalized.
- A Weber County man, older than 85, not hospitalized.