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Yet another Utah COVID record: 9,469 new cases, 19 deaths

EMT Tristin Torkelson gives Luis Crespin a COVID-19 vaccination at a Salt Lake County Health Department mobile site in Salt Lake City on Dec. 29. For the third consecutive day, Utah health officials reported a record in new COVID-19 cases confirmed in a single day on Friday, with 9,469.

EMT Tristin Torkelson gives Luis Crespin a COVID-19 vaccination at a Salt Lake County Health Department mobile site in Salt Lake City on Dec. 29. For the third consecutive day, Utah health officials reported a record in new COVID-19 cases confirmed in a single day on Friday, with 9,469. ( Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — For the third consecutive day, Utah health officials reported a record in COVID-19 cases confirmed in a single day on Friday, with 9,469 new coronavirus cases.

The rolling seven-day average for new cases has now jumped to 5,766 per day, and the average positive rate of those tested is 24.8%, the Utah Department of Health said.

Another 19 deaths were reported on Friday, though five of those deaths occurred before Dec. 7.

Utah reported 8,913 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, breaking the previous day's record of 7,247 cases. Wednesday's numbers were nearly double the previous one-day case total record of about 4,700, set in December 2020.

School-age children accounted for 1,372 of Friday's new cases, of which 415 cases were ages 5-10, 293 cases were ages 11-13, and 664 cases were ages 14-17.

Also, 538 people were hospitalized Friday with COVID-19 across the state — an increase of eight since Thursday. Referral intensive care units that can treat the most serious patients were 94.8% full, and overall ICU use stood at 93.1%.

Since the previous day's report, 21,523 people were tested in Utah for the coronavirus. Health care workers administered 15,438 vaccine doses, bringing total doses given in Utah to 4,617,504. That includes booster shots. Now 63.6% of Utahns ages 5 and older are fully vaccinated with their first dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine or first two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Meanwhile, 35.9% of residents have received booster shots.

Of the 18,382 cases reported since Wednesday, 8,066 — about 44% — are "breakthrough" cases among those fully vaccinated, according to state data. Five additional breakthrough deaths have also been reported. Now 83,569 breakthrough cases and 378 breakthrough deaths have been confirmed since vaccines became available.

Despite the percentage of breakthrough cases creeping up as many people have yet to receive boosters shots, health officials say the risk of severe disease is still greater for the unvaccinated.

In the last 28 days, unvaccinated residents have seen 17.2 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19, 8.3 times greater risk of being hospitalized due to COVID-19, and 2.6 times greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people, the Utah Department of Health said in a statement.

Since Feb. 1, 2021, unvaccinated residents are at 6.9 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19, 5.4 times greater risk of being hospitalized due to the disease, and 2.2 times greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people, the data shows.

Two counties have implemented mask public mask orders since Thursday — Salt Lake County and Summit County — due to the skyrocketing cases. The Utah Department of Health also announced Friday it will start requiring appointments for some of the more busy state-sponsored testing sites, as well as not allowing anyone to get tested if they arrive at a site less than an hour before closing time. Residents were warned to expect long wait times.

The deaths reported Friday include:

  • A Carbon County man, 25-44, not hospitalized.
  • A Davis County man, 65-84, long-term care facility resident.
  • A Millard County woman, older than 85, not hospitalized.
  • Three Salt Lake County men, 45-64, all hospitalized.
  • Three Salt Lake County men, 65-84, all hospitalized
  • A Salt Lake County man, 65-84, not hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County woman, older than 85, hospitalized.
  • A Tooele County woman, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • A Tooele County man, 65-84, not hospitalized.
  • A Utah County woman, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Utah County man, 65-84, not hospitalized.
  • A Washington County man, 45-64, not hospitalized.
  • A Weber County woman, 25-44, unknown if hospitalized.
  • A Weber County man, 45-64, not hospitalized.
  • A Weber County man, 65-84, hospitalized.

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