Utah coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths at record highs on Friday

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A data glitch produced artificially low coronavirus case numbers on Friday in Utah, with “only” 2,150 new diagnoses reported, state health officials said.

But COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths again rose to record highs, with the state reporting the deaths of 100 Utahns in just the past two weeks.

Utah’s death toll from the coronavirus stood at 701 on Friday, with 14 fatalities reported since Thursday, including two men under age 45:

  • Six Salt Lake County residents: two men ages 25 to 44; and two men and two women between 65 and 84.

  • Two Morgan County men, one age 65 to 84 and the other older than 85.

  • Two Box Elder County women, one age 45 to 64 and the other over 85.

  • A Weber County man, age 65 to 84.

  • A Davis County man, age 45 to 64.

  • A Utah County woman, age 45 to 64.

  • A Washington County man, age 65 to 84.

Friday marked the end of the virus’s deadliest two weeks in Utah, and its deadliest month since the pandemic began.

A record-high 476 Utah patients were concurrently hospitalized on Friday for COVID-19, UDOH reported. In total, 6,591 patients have been hospitalized in Utah for COVID-19, up more than 100 in a single day.

For the past week, the state has averaged 2,616 new positive test results a day, but that figure also reflects the data glitch producing artificially low numbers of new cases; the true number is higher than that, UDOH reported. For the past week, 23.5% of all tests have come back positive — also potentially affected by the reporting error.

Even with the low case count, the number of new school-related cases for the week reached a record high: 1,705. At least 165 teachers have been diagnosed in the past week, also a record.

Corner Canyon High School in Draper was closed Friday for two weeks of online learning. That is the second time it has had an outbreak since reopening this fall and after a teacher there was hospitalized. Farmington High will also close for a second time. With those two, 27 schools have stopped in-person classes this week due to COVID-19.

The football game between the University of Utah and UCLA, scheduled for Saturday, also has been canceled because Utah couldn’t fill the required 53-player roster; too many players have tested positive for COVID-19.