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With 403 new coronavirus cases reported on Tuesday, Utah’s rate of new diagnoses continued to went up slightly, but for two weeks has stayed under the governor’s target of less than 400 cases per day.
For the past seven days, Utah has averaged 370 new positive test results per day, the Utah Department of Health reported on Tuesday. Gov. Gary Herbert had said he wanted the state to get below 400 new cases per day by Sept. 1.
The rate of tests with positive results was at 9.3% on Tuesday, up from Monday’s 8.9% — but state officials say that positivity rate is artificially high due to a “reporting delay that resulted in negative lab results not being reported,” according to a statement from UDOH. The missing negative results are from patients tested by Intermountain Healthcare, UDOH confirmed. The reason for the delay was not immediately clear, said UDOH spokesman Tom Hudachko.
State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn has said a 3% positivity rate would indicate the virus is under control.
Statewide, Utah’s rate of positive tests have been above 5% since May 25, according to UDOH data.
There were 4,245 new test results reported on Tuesday — higher than what the state has been reporting most days in the past month, but still artificially low due to the reporting delay from Intermountain. Testing demand has been dropping since late July, state officials and hospital administrators have said; in mid-July, the state was reporting more than 7,000 new test results per day, on average.
Hospitalizations were down slightly on Tuesday, with 124 Utah patients concurrently admitted, UDOH reported. On average, 133 patients have been receiving treatment in Utah hospitals each day for the past week — up slightly from the beginning of this week, but below the peak average of 211 patients hospitalized a little more than two weeks ago.
In total, 2,969 patients have been hospitalized in Utah for COVID-19, up 28 from Monday.
Utah’s death toll from the coronavirus stood at 397 on Tuesday, with seven fatalities reported since Monday:
- A Sanpete County man, older than 85, who was not hospitalized when he died.
- A Utah County woman, older than 85, who lived in a long-term care facility.
- A Salt Lake County woman, age 45 to 64, who died in a hospital.
- A Weber County man, age 45 to 64, who died in a hospital.
- A Utah County woman, age 65 to 84, who lived in a long-term care facility.
- A Weber County woman, age 65 to 84, who died in a hospital.
- A Washington County man, age 65 to 84, who died in a hospital.
Since public schools began opening on Aug. 13, there have been outbreaks in six schools, affecting 45 patients, with four of those new outbreaks reported in the past day. The new outbreaks are linked to 17 new cases, UDOH reported. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 90 patients infected in 17 school outbreaks, with an average age of 17. Five of those patients have been hospitalized; none have died.
Of 49,767 Utahns who have tested positive for COVID-19, 41,529 are considered “recovered” — that is, they have survived for at least three weeks after being diagnosed.