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State reports 24 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in Utah, bringing total to 136

(Rick Bowmer | AP Photo) A negative pressure tent is shown outside the University of Utah's hospital, Monday, March 9, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The hospital is taking steps to limit the spread of the new coronavirus, including new visitor policies and the construction of outdoor negative pressure tents where people can be tested without having to go inside the hospital building.

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The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Utah jumped to 136 on Saturday after 24 more people tested positive for the disease.

State data shows nearly 440 people were tested for the virus Friday as hospitals announced new ways of seeing more patients.

The state reports that 2,560 Utah patients have been tested since the start of the epidemic, although there might be a lag in documenting negative results. Patients and public health officials have expressed disappointment in the slow arrival of testing supplies in Utah, which has prevented the state from developing accurate counts of the number of people infected.

The University of Utah health system on Friday announced it was expanding drive-up options at some of its clinics.

Patients are still asked to call the U. coronavirus hotline (801-587-0712) or set up an online appointment first. People will be tested for COVID-19 only if they meet the state’s criteria, a system spokesman has said.

To be tested, patients must be experiencing symptoms, such as cough, fever and shortness of breath, and be at risk of exposure, either through contact with a confirmed coronavirus patient or recent travel to an area with widespread infection.

Unable to identify and isolate everyone who has been infected or exposed, Utah and other states have imposed broad social distancing measures, closing schools, bars and restaurants, and forbidding gatherings of 10 or more people.

On Friday, the state recorded 34 new cases of confirmed coronavirus, the largest single-day increase in Utah since the start of the outbreak. Saturday’s update showed the number of cases had jumped slightly less than the previous day, rising from 112 to 136.

Twenty-three of the newly confirmed coronavirus patients are Utah residents and one is a visitor, according to the data released Saturday.

Salt Lake County’s case total went up from 46 to 60, the largest increase of any Utah county. There were also new cases in Summit County (39 cases, up from 35), Davis County (14, up from 12), Utah County (four cases, up from three) and Wasatch County (seven, up from four).

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