Utah tallies another 499 cases of COVID-19, and one more death

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Van Turner delivers food to Reed Riddle, at the Hook and Ladder Fire Station #13 in Glendale, on Friday, June 26, 2020.

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The state recorded another 499 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the Utah Department of Health announced Wednesday — with one more Utahn dying from the disease.

A Salt Lake County man, between ages 65 and 84 and in a hospital, was the latest person in Utah to die from COVID-19, UDOH reported. His death brings the state’s toll due to the coronavirus to 173 people.

Another 32 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the state report. There were 194 people hospitalized in Utah as of Tuesday (hospitalization figures are a day behind case counts), and there have been 1,476 Utahns hospitalized with COVID-19 since the first cases were reported in March.

Wednesday’s new cases bring the state’s total number of cases to 22,716. Of those, 12,707 are considered “recovered” — meaning, by the state’s definition, it’s been three weeks since they were diagnosed and they’re still alive.

Another 2,605 tests were administered Wednesday, bringing the total number of Utahns tested to 343,358. The rate of positive tests for the last seven days is 11.8%, and it’s at 6.6% since the first cases were reported in March.

The state has averaged 561.7 cases per day in the last week. That’s well above the 200-cases-per-day average the state’s epidemiologist, Dr. Angela Dunn, said in an internal memo last month would be necessary by July 1 for the state to avoid a “complete shutdown” of the state’s economy.

Also Wednesday, researchers at the University of Utah announced the latest results from the Utah HERO study, measuring the spread of COVID-19 in Utah.

Counting nearly 9,000 residents in Davis, Salt Lake, Summit and Utah counties, the study’s first phase found about 1% tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies. The results match the preliminarily findings, announced Friday in a webinar.

Antibody tests are a lagging indicator, showing more of where the virus has been than where it’s going, said Dr. Stephen Alder, the Utah HERO study’s director of field operations and a professor in the U.‘s Department of Family and Preventative Medicine.

“We’re looking a few weeks in the past, when we’re looking at antibodies,” Alder said. “It’s a good historical marker.”

The second wave of the study will expand past the four counties measured in the first phase, into “hot spots” of viral activity “that we’re going to go into and understand those areas better,” Alder said.