Utah coronavirus cases up 3,005 Friday, with 8 more deaths reported

A new record for the percentage of tests that are positive means many Utahns may be unknowingly spreading the virus

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Shoppers and commuters wear masks in downtown Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020.

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With 3,005 new coronavirus cases reported Friday, Utah’s rate of new diagnoses continued to rise — and with more than one in four tests now coming back positive, it appears many infected people have not been diagnosed.

For the past week, the state has averaged 2,728 new positive test results a day, the Utah Department of Health reported. That’s below the peak of more than 3,300, reached on Nov. 22, but continues an increase that began a few days ago after a lull around the Thanksgiving holiday.

About 300 Utahns have died from coronavirus in the past month — the most of any 30-day stretch since the pandemic began. Utah’s death toll from the coronavirus stood at 925 Friday, with eight fatalities reported since Thursday:

  • A Davis County man, older than 85.

  • A Salt Lake County man, older than 85.

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

  • A Utah County man, age 45 to 64.

  • A Salt Lake County man, age 45 to 64.

  • A Salt Lake County woman, older than 85.

  • Two Salt Lake County women, ages 65 to 84.

Hospitalizations held steady Friday, with 587 Utah patients concurrently admitted, UDOH reported. On average, 575 coronavirus patients have been receiving treatment in Utah hospitals each day for the past week — a record high.

In total, 8,652 Utahns have been hospitalized for COVID-19, more than 700 in the past week alone.

For the past week, 25.2% of all tests have come back positive — a record-high rate that indicates a large number of infected people are not being tested, state officials have said. Those people may be spreading the virus unwittingly.

There were 16,129 new test results reported Friday, far above the weeklong average of about 11,000 new tests per day.

Infection rates again were the highest by far in Wasatch County, which has had the worst outbreak of any county since Thanksgiving. There, one in every 55 residents had tested positive for the virus in the past two weeks — meaning their cases are considered “active.” Wasatch County was followed by Sanpete, Washington, Utah, and Cache counties, where at least 1 in every 75 people had tested positive for the virus in the past two weeks.

Of the 98 “small areas” studied by health officials in Utah, only the Sanpete Valley and the northern neighborhoods of Orem had a higher infection rate than Wasatch County, with at least 1 in every 54 residents diagnosed with an active case.

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