Another day of record high coronavirus cases as Utah’s numbers top 4,000

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Jazzy and Boston McClary wear masks as they shop in downtown Salt Lake City on Nov. 12.

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Utah has broken another record for new coronavirus cases, with 5,352 positive cases reported Saturday — a number that is artificially high because of a data glitch the previous day.

Even with the approximately 1,300 cases that would have been reported Friday removed, Utah still topped its record Saturday with 4,052 new cases.

It took two days for Utah to break the previous record of positive coronavirus cases, when 3,919 cases were reported Thursday.

Utah’s death toll stood at 710 deaths, with nine more fatalities reported since Friday:

  • Two Salt Lake County men, one between age 45 and 64 and the other 25 to 44.

  • Two women from Davis County, both between ages 65 and 84.

  • A Washington County woman between age 65 and 84.

  • A Tooele County woman between age 65 and 84.

  • A Utah County woman between age 65 and 84.

  • A Washington County man between age 65 and 84.

  • A Summit County woman between age 65 and 84.

Hospitalizations continued to rise, the Utah Department of Health reported Saturday, with 487 people currently being treated, an increase of 14 people from the prior day. This marks another record high. Hospitals are reporting that nearly 86% of intensive care unit beds across the state are occupied.

More than a million Utahns have been tested for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, Utah officials reported, and in the past week, 23.6% of those tests have come back positive — an indication that a large number of infected people are not being tested, state officials have said.

Nearly every health district in Utah reported record-breaking positive cases Saturday, with the biggest leaps happening in the two largest counties. In Salt Lake County, there was an increase of 2,095 positive cases reported — about 39% of all positive cases reported Saturday. On Friday, when the numbers were artificially low, Salt Lake County had reported 814 new cases. The previous day, there were 1,366 new Salt Lake County cases reported.

In Utah County, 1,335 positive cases were reported Saturday. That’s nearly triple the number of cases reported Friday, though the data that day was incomplete. On Thursday, Utah County reported 1,116 new cases.

The record-breaking numbers come nearly a week after Gov. Gary Herbert announced last Sunday that he was putting more restrictions in place to try to stop the spread of the virus. That included a statewide mask mandate, something Herbert had avoided for months and only did so on the heels of Utah’s most devastating pandemic week to date.

The emergency order also limited social gatherings to people in the same household, halted school-sanctioned extracurricular activities and required bars to stop serving alcohol at 10 p.m.

The order is set to expire just before the Thanksgiving holiday, and it’s unclear if state officials will extend the restrictions or offer other recommendations for Utahns this holiday season.