Utah seeing higher rate of serious disease in younger COVID-19 patients

Minka Tasevac receives a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from by nurse Jon Hight at the Salt Lake Public Health
Center on Thursday. Utah health officials confirmed 1,715 new COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths on Friday.

Minka Tasevac receives a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from by nurse Jon Hight at the Salt Lake Public Health Center on Thursday. Utah health officials confirmed 1,715 new COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths on Friday. (Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah health officials confirmed 1,715 new COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths on Friday.

School-age children accounted for 362 of the new cases — 172 cases in children ages 5-10, 94 cases in ages 11-13, and 96 cases in ages 14-17 — according to a daily update provided by the Utah Department of Health.

Of note, four of the 11 deaths reported Friday were in the 25-44 age group, according to the state health department. Throughout the pandemic, that group has accounted for just 161 of the 2,943 deaths, or about 5.5%.

State health officials have noted the state is seeing higher rates of serious disease in younger adults compared to last year during the pandemic. Older adults, who are more likely to be vaccinated according to state data, have seen a decrease in case rates and serious disease.

The rolling seven-day average for positive tests is 1,360 per day, and the percent positivity rate of those tested stands at 14.3%.

Since Thursday's report, 6,924 more residents received a vaccine dose, bringing total doses given in Utah to 3,478,625.

In the last 28 days, unvaccinated residents have seen 5.9 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19, 7.3 times greater risk of being hospitalized, and 6.5 times greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people, according to the state health department.

Since Feb. 1, people who are unvaccinated are at 4.6 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19, 4.9 times greater risk of being hospitalized, and 4.1 times greater risk of testing positive for the disease than vaccinated people.

Of the cases reported Thursday, 348 were confirmed as "breakthrough" cases, meaning they had been fully vaccinated more than two weeks ago. The state also confirmed 23 new breakthrough hospitalizations and one breakthrough death, 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 18,326 breakthrough cases, 941 breakthrough hospitalizations and 123 breakthrough deaths.

On Friday, 580 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Utah, an increase of 14 since the previous day.

The latest deaths:

  • A Davis County man, age 45-64, who was hospitalized when he died.
  • An Iron County woman, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Millard County woman, older than 85, long-term care facility resident.
  • A Salt Lake County man, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County woman, 25-44, hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County man, 25-44, hospitalized.
  • A Uintah County man, 25-44, hospitalized
  • A Utah County woman, 25-44, hospitalized.
  • A Utah County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Utah County man, older than 85, hospitalized.
  • A Weber County man, 65-84, hospitalized.

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