Coronavirus in Utah: Cases are on the decline here as U.S. hits 5 million

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) COVID-19 testing at the University of Utah Health's Farmington Health Center on Friday, July 31, 2020.

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Just a few days after Utah Gov. Gary Herbert set a new coronavirus goal, the state on Sunday came close to reaching it.

Herbert said he wanted the rolling seven-day average of positive cases to dip below 400 by Sept. 1. The state’s health department Sunday reported that figure is now 411 as it released new COVID-19 case numbers. It’s the lowest seven-day average since June 17.

The state reached Herbert’s previous goal when the rolling average got below 500 cases per day a little over a week ago. He wanted to see that figure by Aug. 1, and it came to pass.

The Utah Department of Health reported 376 new cases Sunday with 4,258 more tests. The state’s total coronavirus cases now stands at 44,127.

The new figures highlight a week in Utah in which coronavirus cases and deaths declined.

Four of the past seven days have seen daily counts of less than 400 new cases. The biggest spike of the week came Thursday when the state reported 587 new cases.

This past week also saw a reduction in deaths after two consecutive weeks of the state breaking its record with 32 and 37 deaths in a seven-day period. Sunday culminated a week that saw 25 deaths.

Fewer people are also estimated to be fighting the virus, meaning they tested positive for the coronavirus within the past three weeks. The number of unrecovered cases dropped below 10,000 for the first time since June 30 and now stands at 9,876.

Another metric the health department is watching is the percentage of tests that come back positive. Last week, the percentage stood at about 10%. But as of Sunday, that figure is at 9.1%, a possible indication the pandemic is waning.

Active hospitalizations rose by one Sunday and now stands at 196. That number was at 202 on Thursday.

The state health department reported one death Sunday, a Cache County man between the ages of 45 and 64 who was hospitalized when he died. That person is likely Kelly Rindlisbacher, the principal of Nibley Elementary School who died after battling the virus for five weeks.

The United States reached 5 million coronavirus cases this week, the most of anywhere in the world. Brazil has the next highest number of cases, with just over 3 million.

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