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Almost 800,000 Utahns are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but the state also reported eight more deaths on Tuesday.
Four of the deaths occurred before March 20, and they were only recently confirmed to have been caused by the coronavirus, the Utah Department of Health reported.
The 799,291 Utahns who are fully vaccinated after receiving either both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson is roughly 35% of Utahns age 16 and older who are eligible to be vaccinated, based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 estimates of the state’s population.
Vaccine doses administered in past day/total doses administered • 18,065 / 1,916,922.
Utahns fully vaccinated • 799,291.
Cases reported in past day • 315.
Deaths reported in past day • Eight.
Uintah County reported two deaths: a woman between the ages of 45 and 64, and a woman 85-plus.
There were also two deaths in Weber County: a man 25-44, and a woman 65-84.
Four other counties each reported one death: a woman 65-84 in Carbon County; a woman 65-84 in Salt Lake County; a woman 85-plus in Sanpete County; and a man 85-plus in Utah County.
Tests reported in past day • 5,100 people were tested for the first time. A total of 13,574 people were tested.
Hospitalizations reported in past day • 138. That’s unchanged from Monday. Of those currently hospitalized, 57 people are in intensive care units — three more than on Monday.
Percentage of positive tests • Under the state’s original method, the rate is 6.2%. That’s lower than the seven-day average of 6.7%.
The state’s new method counts all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual. Tuesday’s rate was 2.3%, lower than the seven-day average of 3.2%.
Totals to date • 393,272 cases; 2,174 deaths; 15,959 hospitalizations; 2,498,939 people tested.
Fifty-three people in Davis County erroneously received saline solution instead of the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine last weekend.
The error happened Saturday at the county’s mass vaccination clinic in Farmington, a Davis County Health Department spokesman said in a statement Tuesday. The worker mixed the vaccine incorrectly and then realized the error, and informed clinic leaders — who started calling the people who received the wrong injection.
The county has already given the correct second dose to 37 of the 53 people affected, and has arranged appointments for another 11. Five individuals still have not rescheduled a new date, the spokesman said.
The health department is going over procedures with its vaccinators, and offering retraining for those who feel they need it, the spokesman said.
Also Tuesday, experts at University of Utah Health warned that COVID-19 case counts and hospitalization numbers are hitting a plateau — which could be an indication that the numbers will soon rise again.
The number of people hospitalized has flattened out to between 120 and 140 patients a day, said Erin Clouse, strategic engagement manager at University of Utah Health. That’s well down from the peaks of more than 500 hospitalized in January, but has not decreased in the past couple of weeks.
Dr. Russell Vinik, chief medical operations officer at University of Utah Health, said that within their hospital system, doctors have had between 12 and 15 patients hospitalized a day, on average — where a month ago, that average was below 10.
Clouse also noted that for some counties — particularly Davis, Wasatch and the Weber/Morgan Health District — case counts have been rising over the past two weeks.
One possible reason for case counts and hospitalizations leveling off, Vinik said, is the spread of COVID-19 variants — particularly the so-called “U.K. variant,” which he said was found in 40% of the new COVID-19 cases in Utah last week.
Vinik advised Utahns, “Now more than ever, don’t forget about those things that helped us get to where we are” — specifically, wearing masks, engaging in social distancing, and getting vaccinated.