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After 3 days in the 200s, the number of new COVID-19 cases jumps to almost 500

The director of the Summit County Health Department is retiring in August.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Empty vials of the Pfizer COVID19 vaccine at the Woods Cross High School pop-up clinic by Nomi Health, April 27, 2021. County and regional health districts are setting up vaccination clinics in high schools, to get the COVID-19 vaccine to 16- and 17-year-olds.

Editor’s note: The Salt Lake Tribune is providing free access to critical stories about the coronavirus. Sign up for our Top Stories newsletter, sent to your inbox every weekday morning. To support journalism like this, please donate or become a subscriber.

Even as the number of Utahns fully vaccinated against COVID-19 approaches a million, the number of new cases jumped to nearly 500 on Wednesday – and two more people died.

The number of Utahns hospitalized because of the coronavirus increased by 10, and there were eight more COVID-19 patients in intensive care than on Tuesday.

Vaccine doses administered in past day/total doses administered • 18,687 / 2,223,511.

Utahns fully vaccinated • 986,146.

Cases reported in past day • 480.

Deaths reported in past day • Two: A woman between the ages of 45-64 in Millard County, and a man 45-64 in Weber County.

Tests reported in past day • 7,190 people were tested for the first time. A total of 15,569 people were tested.

Hospitalizations reported in past day • 153. That’s 10 more than on Tuesday. Of those currently hospitalized, 62 are in intensive care units, up eight from Tuesday.

Percentage of positive tests • Under the state’s original method, the rate is 6.7%. That’s about the same as the seven-day average of 6.6%.

The state’s new method counts all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual. Wednesday’s rate was 3.1%, lower than the seven-day average of 3.5%.

[Read more: Utah is changing how it measures the rate of positive COVID-19 tests. Here’s what that means.]

Totals to date • 398,979 cases; 2,219 deaths; 16,278 hospitalizations; 2,582,182 people tested.

One of the state’s leaders in the fight against COVID-19 — Dr. Rich Bullough, director of the Summit County Health Department — is retiring in August.

Bullough announced his retirement this week at a meeting of the county’s board of health.

Bullough, who has worked in public health for 30 years and led the Summit County Health Department since September 2010, had been considering retirement earlier. But, he said in a statement that he “was not able to move on to the next phase of my life until the pandemic was well along the continuum of being controlled in Summit County.”

The county, he said, has “made remarkable progress toward knocking this disease back in our community and towards a safe, gradual return to normal.”

On March 14, 2020, state health officials announced that a doorman in a Park City bar had the first case of “community spread” of COVID-19 — a case not explained by someone bringing the virus into Utah from out of state. Within hours, with the urging of Summit County health officials that visitors stay home, Park City’s two major ski destinations, Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort, announced they would end their seasons early to prevent further spread.

Bullough is a Utah native, and a longtime Summit County resident. Before taking the job of leading the county’s health department, he worked as director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded programs for the Utah Department of Health, as a research fellow for the National Institutes of Health, and an adjunct professor at the University of Utah.

“Public health is about a lot more than pandemic response, it is a foundation of equity in society,” Bullough said in his statement. “Clean air, water, food, and important behavioral and clinical programs are for everyone. A strong public health department will help us continue down the path of achieving equity in Summit County.”



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