New Utah coronavirus cases drop again on Friday, with 5 more deaths reported

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) \Masks are required in many stores in downtown Salt Lake City, Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

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Chad Arbon doesn’t blame anyone for his dad’s death — but he hopes Jim Arbon’s passing can provide one last lesson from the longtime Davis County teacher.

“It happened,” Chad Arbon said of his father’s recent death from the coronavirus, “and we’ve just got to deal with it and learn the lessons and move on to ensure if this happens again, that we learned some of the things that went wrong this time.”

Jim Arbon died Monday at age 80, after spending three weeks at North Davis Hospital. He is one of 335 Utahns who have now died from COVID-19, with five fatalities reported on Friday:

  • A Salt Lake County man, older than 85, who lived in a long-term care facility.

  • A Davis County woman, older than 85, who lived in a long-term care facility.

  • A Salt Lake County man, between 65 and 84, who lived in a long-term care facility.

  • A Salt Lake County man, between 65 and 84, who died in a hospital.

  • A Davis County man, between 65 and 84, who lived in a long-term care facility.

Jim Arbon was a teacher for 43 years. Most of that time was spent teaching art and business classes at Bountiful High School, Chad Arbon said. The family lived in a house in Kaysville that Jim Arbon had built in 1966, and that his widow still lives in.

Jim Arbon loved to golf — and his family thinks it was on the golf course or shopping that he contracted the coronavirus, his son said. Chad Arbon said his mother and sister contracted the virus after his father; the two women are recovering.

After a spike in statewide coronavirus cases Thursday, new diagnoses were down on Friday, with 460 cases reported and five new deaths.

For the past week, Utah has averaged 441 new confirmed cases per day, the Utah Department of Health reported. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has said he wants the seven-day average to be below 400 new cases per day by Sept. 1.

The rate of tests with positive results was at 9.5% on Friday, down somewhat from Thursday’s 10% but far higher than the 3% positivity rate state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn has said would indicate the virus is under control.

Statewide, Utah's rate of positive tests has been above 9% since mid-June, according to state data.

The number of new test results reported Friday were down to 3,709, continuing a stretch of declining testing demand. In late July, about 7,000 Utahns per day were being tested.

Hospitalizations remained high on Friday, with 202 Utah patients concurrently admitted, UDOH reported. On average, 197 patients have been receiving treatment in Utah hospitals each day for the past week — a figure that has been declining for about a week after a peak average of 210.

In total, 2,578 patients have been hospitalized in Utah for COVID-19, up 24 from Thursday.

Of 43,375 Utahns who have tested positive for COVID-19, 32,371 are considered “recovered” — that is, they have survived for at least three weeks after being diagnosed.