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Utah continues to see higher rates of serious COVID-19 illness in younger adults

A University of Utah Health worker treats patients inside the medical intensive care unit at University of Utah Hospital on July 30. Utah health officials on Monday confirmed 3,636 new COVID-19 cases since Friday, as well as 21 deaths.

A University of Utah Health worker treats patients inside the medical intensive care unit at University of Utah Hospital on July 30. Utah health officials on Monday confirmed 3,636 new COVID-19 cases since Friday, as well as 21 deaths. (Charlie Ehlert, University of Ut)



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Among the 21 deaths due to COVID-19 reported since Friday in Utah, six were between the ages of 25 and 44, and nine were between the ages 45 and 64, as the state continues to see higher rates of serious illness in younger adults.

Leaders from Intermountain Healthcare noted last week that hospitals — which continue to see high numbers of coronavirus patients — are on average treating patients 20 years younger than the average age of those hospitalized with COVID-19 last year.

Those younger patients are typically unvaccinated, doctors said.

The average age of COVID-19 deaths in Utah has fallen to 72.1 years old, according to data from the Utah Department of Health. That is compared to November 2020, when the average age of deaths was 73.8.

Last November, over 92% of people who died from COVID-19 were high-risk individuals, meaning they were over age 65 and/or had underlying health condition(s). Now, 84.6% of patients who die from the virus are considered high-risk, according to the data.

Utah health officials also confirmed 3,636 new COVID-19 cases since Friday, as well as 21 deaths.

A breakdown of new cases each day this past weekend:

  • Friday: 1,673
  • Saturday: 1,250
  • Sunday: 728

The rolling, seven-day average for positive tests is now at 1,482 per day, and the average percent positive rate of those tested is now is 16.5%, according to a daily update from the Utah Department of Health.

School-age children accounted for 698 of the cases reported Monday — 351 cases were ages 5-10, 153 cases were 11-13, and 194 cases were 14-18.

Health care workers administered 20,920 vaccine doses since Friday's report, including booster shots, bringing total doses given in Utah to 3,677,561.

In the last 28 days, unvaccinated residents have faced 15.4 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19, 10.9 times greater risk of hospitalization, and 5.4 times greater risk of testing positive for the disease than vaccinated people, state health officials said.

Since Feb. 1, people who are unvaccinated are at 8.8 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19, 7.5 times greater risk of being hospitalized, and 3.8 times greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people, according to the data.

Of the cases reported Monday, 913 — or about 25.1% — were considered "breakthrough," meaning they were patients who had been fully vaccinated more than two weeks before testing positive. The state confirmed 27 more breakthrough hospitalizations and no additional breakthrough deaths.

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 26,372 breakthrough cases in the 542,531 total positive cases since the pandemic began, or just under 5% of all cases. Utah health officials have also confirmed 1,283 total breakthrough hospitalizations and 175 total breakthrough deaths.

On Monday, 525 patients were hospitalized in the state with the coronavirus, a decrease of five since Friday.

The latest deaths include:

  • Two Washington County women between the ages of 45 and 64, who were hospitalized at the times of their deaths.
  • An Iron County woman, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • A Weber County man, 25-44, hospitalized.
  • Two Salt Lake County women, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • Two Utah County men, 25-44, hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County woman, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • Two Utah County men, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Davis County man, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • A Utah County woman, 25-44, hospitalized.
  • A Weber County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Box Elder County woman, 25-44, hospitalized.
  • A Washington County woman, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Box Elder County man, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • A Sevier County man, 25-44, hospitalized.
  • A Carbon County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Utah County man, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • A Cache County woman, 45-64, unknown hospitalization status.

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