News / Utah / 

Yet another record day for COVID in Utah: 9,813 new cases

Gabriel Rosito gets a COVID-19 test administered by health care worker Miracle Wright at City Hall in Herriman on Thursday, Jan. 6. Utah health officials reported a record 9,813 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, as well as 15 deaths.

Gabriel Rosito gets a COVID-19 test administered by health care worker Miracle Wright at City Hall in Herriman on Thursday, Jan. 6. Utah health officials reported a record 9,813 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, as well as 15 deaths. ( Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 6-7 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — For the fourth day in less than a week, Utah health officials reported another record: 9,813 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. Another 15 deaths were also reported.

The previous record for new cases occurred last Friday, when the state confirmed 9,469 cases.

The rolling, seven-day average for new cases has now increased to 8,524 per day, while the average positive rate of people tested is 33.6% — also an all-time high for the state.

Across the state, 22,727 people were tested for the coronavirus than was reported on Monday, the Utah Department of Health said.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation with widespread cases of the omicron variant of the disease, Laurie Stringham, chairwoman of the Salt Lake County Council, announced Monday she would not call a special session to vote to overturn a mask mandate ordered last week for Salt Lake County by Dr. Angela Dunn, executive director at Salt Lake County Health Department.

=Salt Lake and Summit are the only two counties in the state with mask orders in place. And it appears at least one northern Utah county won't be following suit. =Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson said the county does not intend to implement a mask mandate anytime soon.

Instead, "We are urging our residents to continue getting vaccinated and getting their booster shots," Stevenson said.

The Salt Lake County mask order encourages people to wear respirators like K95s or KN95s. The county is offering free respirators for those who would otherwise be unable to purchase them at senior centers and libraries.

Which type of mask should I buy?

Under the mask order, cloth masks are OK as a "backup" until someone can get a respirator, health officials said.

Experts have said N95 or KN95 masks are more protective than cloth masks against COVID-19, but cloth masks are better than no facial covering.

"N95 and KN95 masks are better for all variants of COVID-19 if worn and fitted well. They are often a bit more tight-fitting than a surgical mask, and the material also filters out more particles, so the air that goes through the material and not around the mask is filtered better," Dr. Jeremy Biggs, associate professor of occupational and environmental health at University of Utah Health, said in a news release.

For many, it will likely be their first time searching for a respirator.

A search for N95 or KN95 masks online at popular retailer websites like Walmart, Walgreens or CVS, for the most part, brings up simple surgical face masks rather than respirators. Amazon does have numerous N95 and KN95 masks, but it's difficult to determine which are legitimate and which are counterfeit.

The difference between N95 and KN95s is in their certification. Both mask types cannot be washed but can be reworn, though they need to be discarded when dirty or damaged.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a list of N95 masks certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Both agencies regulate N95 masks but not KN95 masks. Still, some brands of KN95 masks are tested by the CDC, Biggs said in the release.

KN95s are the most widely-available respirators that meet international standards, according to the CDC. National officials warn against the use of both N95 and KN95 masks for those with certain types of facial hair that prevent the masks from fitting tightly against the face.

The CDC also warns against international KN95 masks that have exhalation valves or vents. A KN95 or N95 mask that is difficult to breathe in, or one that is wet or dirty, shouldn't be used, according to the CDC.

If looking for an N95 respirator, federal health officials warn against using masks labeled "surgical," as those should be reserved for health care workers.

N95 masks should have a cup, flat fold or duck bill shape, two straps that wrap around the head, a wire that forms to the bridge of the nose, and markings printed on the filter that show approval from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Project N95, a website of the National Critical Equipment Clearinghouse, sells respirators approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and provides resources and tips for finding the correct face mask.

The CDC also offers advice for avoiding counterfeit masks.

Other Utah data

School-age children accounted for 2,012 of the new cases announced on Tuesday — 680 of those were ages 5-10, 423 cases were ages 11-13, and 909 cases were ages 14-17.

Health care workers administered 11,321 vaccine doses since the previous day, bringing total doses given in Utah to 4,659,643, including booster shots. Now 63.9% of Utahns ages 5 and older have been fully vaccinated with two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, and 37.1% of residents have received a booster shot.

Of the cases reported Tuesday, 4,461 were "breakthrough," among people who had received their original vaccine doses or dose, according to the state health department. Six additional breakthrough deaths were also reported. That brings total breakthrough cases to 98,532 (or about 14% of all cases since the pandemic began) and breakthrough deaths to 389 (or about 10%) in Utah since vaccines became available.

Since the pandemic began in spring of 2020, Utah has confirmed 715,996 COVID-19 cases and 3,922 deaths due to the disease.

In the last 28 days, unvaccinated residents have faced 15.7 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19, 7 times greater risk of hospitalization due to the coronavirus, and 2.4 times greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people, the health department said.

Since Feb. 1, people who are unvaccinated have experienced 6.8 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19, 5.2 times greater risk of being hospitalized due to COVID-19, and 1.9 times greater risk of testing positive for COVID-19 than vaccinated people, according to the data.

On Tuesday, 579 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Utah, an increase of 38 since the previous day. Referral intensive care units that can treat the most serious patients were 88% full, and overall ICU use is at 85.8%.

Three of the deaths reported Tuesday occurred before Dec. 11. The deaths include:

  • A Davis County woman, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Davis County woman, older than 85, not hospitalized.
  • A Davis County man, older than 85, hospitalized.
  • A San Juan County man, 65-84, hot hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County woman, 25-44, not hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County woman, 25-44, hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County woman, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County woman, 65-84, long-term care facility resident.
  • A Salt Lake County man, 65-84, not hospitalized.
  • A Tooele County man, 25-54, hospitalized.
  • A Utah County woman, older than 85, hospitalized.
  • A Utah County man, older than 85, not hospitalized.
  • A Weber County woman, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • A Weber County woman, older than 85, long-term care facility resident.
  • A Weber County woman, 65-84, hospitalized.

Contributing: Jacob Scholl

SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast