Utah’s rate of new coronavirus cases plateaus, as deaths top 800

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With 2,701 new coronavirus cases reported Tuesday, Utah’s rate of new diagnoses plateaued after a lull in testing results that is typical in the first few days of each week.

But with 11 new deaths, Tuesday marked the end of the deadliest 30-day stretch since the pandemic began. And there have been 136 deaths reported in the past two weeks alone.

The Utah Department of Health on Tuesday reported a seven-day average of 3,284 new positive test results per day — below Monday’s record-high rate of 3,349, but well above the rate of 3,071 a week ago.

Utah’s death toll from the coronavirus stood at 808 Tuesday, with 11 fatalities reported since Monday:

  • A Utah County woman and a Utah County man, both age 65 to 84.

  • Three Davis County women, two ages 65 to 84 and one age 45 to 64.

  • A Salt Lake County woman, age 65 to 84.

  • A Morgan County man older than 85.

  • A Duchesne County man older than 85.

  • A Wasatch County man, age 45 to 64.

  • A Weber County woman, age 65 to 84.

  • A Box Elder County man, age 45 to 64.

Hospitalizations held steady Tuesday, with 552 Utah patients concurrently admitted, UDOH reported. On average, 545 patients have been receiving treatment for COVID-19 in Utah hospitals each day for the past week — a record high.

In total, 7,702 patients have been hospitalized in Utah for COVID-19, up 100 from Monday.

For the past week, 23% of all tests have come back positive — below the peak of 24.6 last week, but far above the 3% positivity rate that would indicate most infected people have been diagnosed and advised to quarantine. A higher rate suggests a large number of infected Utahns are not being tested, health officials have said.

The highest rates of new cases per capita were in Sevier, Utah, Cache and Garfield counties, where at least one in every 60 people has tested positive for the virus in the past two weeks — meaning their cases are considered “active.” And in the past week, case rates have risen most precipitously in Sanpete County, where local health officials reported record-high new diagnoses over the weekend.

Northern Orem still had the highest case rate of any “small area” in Utah, with active cases diagnosed in more than one in 37 residents. In Logan, more than one in 50 have been diagnosed in the past two weeks. At least one in 55 residents have been diagnosed in Salem; Kearns; all of Provo outside the BYU campus; Herriman; the western neighborhoods of West Valley City; American Fork; the area of Richfield, Monroe and Salina; and the eastern neighborhoods of Orem.

The Central Utah Health Department, which covers some of the worst recent outbreaks in the state, also reported the most hospitalizations per capita for the past week. That was followed by Salt Lake County — which has the largest share of the state’s nursing homes — and southwestern Utah, whose largest hospital has long been operating an overflow intensive care unit.

There were 15,528 new test results reported Tuesday, above the weeklong average of about 14,600 new tests per day.