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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah health officials reported 13 COVID-19 deaths on Friday, along with 2,808 new cases.
The rolling seven-day average for new positive tests is now 3,295 per day. The seven-day average for positive tests is currently 40.7%, continuing a downward trend, according to the Utah Department of Health.
School children account for 362 of the new cases. Of those cases, 172 were children between ages 5 and 10, 81 were children 11-13, and 109 were children 14-17.
The health department reported another 6,443 people have been tested.
There are currently 782 people hospitalized in the state with COVID-19, with 182 of those patients in intensive care, according to the health department. In all, there have been 31,796 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 since early 2020.
Health officials estimate that the last 28 days, Utahns who are not vaccinated have a 2.3 times higher risk of testing positive for COVID-19, a 4.7 times greater risk of being hospitalized, and a 8.6 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19.
When comparing the same data figures for statistics between Feb. 1, 2021 and now, to those from the last four weeks, the risk to unvaccinated Utahns has been higher during the last four weeks with the omicron variant. Since that time, Utahns who are not vaccinated have a 1.5 times higher risk of testing positive for COVID-19, a 4.2 times greater risk of being hospitalized, and a 6.6 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19.
There have been a total of 898,267 positive cases of COVID-19 in Utah since the pandemic began, as well as 4,173 deaths due to the coronavirus.
The 13 deaths reported Friday include:
- A Box Elder County man between the ages of 65 and 84, who was hospitalized when he died.
- A Davis County woman, 45-64, hospitalized.
- A Davis County woman, 65-84, hospitalized.
- A Davis County man, 65-84, not hospitalized.
- A Davis County man, over 85, hospitalized.
- An Iron County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
- A Juab County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
- Two Salt Lake County women, 45-64, both hospitalized.
- A Salt Lake County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
- A Tooele County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
- A Washington County woman, 65-84, hospitalized.
- A Weber County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Friday that it is now reporting data about wastewater tests which are done to evaluate which areas are dealing with more COVID-19 cases. Previously this data has been reported by states, but Amy Kirby, who is a lead for the CDC program, said this report will allow people to compare data throughout other states.
The effort to test waste water began in September 2020. There are currently over 400 testing sites in 37 states, four cities and two territories. Kirby said hundreds of new testing sites will be added to that in the coming weeks.
The CDC website will only report the latest 15 days of data, Kirby said, so that data remains accurate.
Wastewater tests are one of the earliest indicators of an increased number of COVID-19 cases, she said, and the data can be an early warning system that COVID-19 is emerging in the community.
"This important advantages can inform important public health decisions, such as where to implement mobile testing and vaccination sites," Kirby said.
She also said that the data can be used to help hospital systems plan where to move their resources so that they are in place where they are most needed as an outbreak is starting.
Currently, Utah's testing sites are all reporting an 80-100% prevalence of COVID-19 in wastewater, according to the CDC website. Many of the locations, however, indicate that the percent positive rate has been getting lower in that range over the last 15 days.