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Coronavirus in Utah: Sunday’s 1,200 new cases, seven new deaths cap another bad week for the pandemic

(Kristin Murphy | Deseret News, pool) Dr. Emily Spivak, University of Utah Health Division of Infectious Diseases associate professor of medicine, and Dr. Angela Dunn, state epidemiologist, listen as Gov. Gary Herbert speaks during a COVID-19 press conference at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020.

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If you’re waiting for the COVID-19 pandemic to subside across the state of Utah, last week was a reminder that it’s unlikely to happen any time soon.

The Department of Health on Sunday reported 1,200 new cases and seven new deaths statewide. For the seven-day period beginning Oct. 5 and ending Sunday, Utah reported 8,226 cases and 40 deaths. Those figures over that seven-day period account for 9.6% of all cases in Utah and 7.7% of all deaths since the pandemic began in March.

Sunday’s seven new deaths include:

• A Cache County man, age 65 to 84, who lived in a long-term care facility.

• A Salt Lake County man, age 65 to 84, who was hospitalized at the time of death.

• A Tooele County man, age 65 to 84, who was hospitalized at the time of death.

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

• A Salt Lake County man, age 65 to 84, who was hospitalized at the time of death.

• A Washington County man, age 45 to 64, who was hospitalized at the time of death.

• A Salt Lake County man, age 65 to 84, who was hospitalized at the time of death.

Positive COVID-19 cases continue to spike. Six of the past seven days have seen 1,007 or more positive cases, including Thursday’s single-day state record of 1,501. Things didn’t slow down as the weekend hit, with 1,343 on Friday and 1,354 on Saturday before Sunday’s 1,200.

The total number of positive cases since the pandemic began eclipsed 85,000 on Sunday. The total now sits at 85,844 as the state is on pace to hit 100,000 total cases well ahead of Halloween.

With cases staying up, the seven-day period ending Sunday featured a rolling average of positive tests at 1,161 per day. That equates to a rolling seven-day average of positive tests of 13.9%. State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn has said previously that a positive-test percentage of 3% would indicate Utah has the pandemic under control.

Furthermore, according to COVID Act Now, Utah’s 13.9% positive percentage ranks among the 10 worst when compared to the rest of the 50 states. For what it’s worth, neighboring Idaho (22.3%), Wyoming (15.5%) and Nevada (14.9%) all have worse positive-percentages currently.

As with positive cases, statewide hospitalizations remain high. Friday marked a single-day high of 243 current hospitalizations. That dropped to 231 on Saturday but shot back up on Sunday as the Department of Health reported 254 current hospitalizations. There have been 4,306 total hospitalizations since the pandemic began.

The state reported Sunday an increase of 5,677 people tested, bringing the statewide total to 918,571. Sunday’s total was down from Saturday’s single-day record of 11,846.

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