Utah’s new COVID-19 cases stay below 400, with no new school outbreaks reported Thursday

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) The coronavirus testing center at Intermountain North Ogden Clinic, July 18, 2020.

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With 383 new coronavirus cases reported on Thursday, Utah’s rate of new diagnoses declined and for more than two weeks has stayed under the governor’s target of fewer than 400 cases per day.

For the past seven days, Utah has averaged 366 new positive test results per day, the Utah Department of Health reported on Thursday. 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 8.7% on Thursday, nearly the same as Wednesday’s 8.6%. 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 has been above 5% since May 25, according to UDOH data.

Utah’s death toll from the coronavirus rose to 403 on Thursday, with two fatalities reported since Wednesday, both in Salt Lake County:

• A man, age 64 to 85, who died in a hospital.

• A man, age 45 to 64. The location of his death was not known as of Thursday afternoon.

There were 5,432 new test results reported on Thursday, above the weeklong average of 3,851 new tests per day. 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 remained relatively low on Thursday, with 120 Utah patients concurrently admitted, UDOH reported. On average, 127 patients have been receiving treatment in Utah hospitals each day for the past week, continuing a decline from the peak average of 211 patients hospitalized each day at the end of July.

In total, 3,015 patients have been hospitalized in Utah for COVID-19, up 19 from Wednesday.

Since Utah’s public schools began opening on Aug. 13, there have been outbreaks in six schools, affecting 46 patients, with no new outbreaks reported in the past day. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 91 patients infected in 17 school outbreaks, with an average age of 17. Five of those patients have been hospitalized; none has died.

Of 50,557 Utahns who have tested positive for COVID-19, 42,512 are considered “recovered” — that is, they have survived for at least three weeks after being diagnosed.