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Another 10 Utahns die of COVID-19

Intermountain Healthcare is shifting its efforts away from mass vaccination sites

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Mask required signs are on the door of most restaurants and many gift shops on Main Street in Moab, on Main Street in Moab, on Friday, May 14, 2021.

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The COVID-19 death toll continues to rise in Utah — 10 more Utahns have died of the coronavirus.

Nine of those occurred before April 21 and were only recently confirmed to be the result of COVID-19.

Vaccine doses administered in past day/total doses administered • 18,716 / 2,482,804.

Utahns fully vaccinated • 1,144,733.

Cases reported in past day • 300.

Deaths reported in past day • Ten.

Nine of those who died were Salt Lake County residents — two men and two women between the ages of 65-84, and two and three women 85-plus.

Utah County reported one death — a man 65-84.

Tests reported in past day • 4,321 people were tested for the first time. A total of 8,851 people were tested.

Hospitalizations reported in past day • 136. That’s three fewer than on Thursday. Of those currently hospitalized, 54 are in intensive care, three fewer than on Thursday.

Percentage of positive tests • Under the state’s original method, the rate is 6.9%. That’s higher than the seven-day average of 6.4%.

The state’s new method counts all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual. Friday’s rate was 3.4%, the same as the seven-day average of 3.4%.

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

Totals to date • 403,984 cases; 2,289 deaths; 16,638 hospitalizations; 2,658,131 people tested.

Intermountain Healthcare will shift its COVID-19 vaccination effort to clinics, pharmacies and personal physicians, and away from mass vaccination sites, the hospital system announced Friday.

”It’s bringing vaccine access closer to Utahns, and closer to the health care providers that Utahns know and trust,” Dr. Brandon Webb, an infectious disease physician at Intermountain, said during the company’s weekly COVID-19 community briefing on Facebook Live. “Bringing the vaccination closer to patients and their established providers … puts that vaccination step closer to the providers who can help inform patients the best.”

The company said it will make this shift at all its hospitals — with the exception of Cassia Regional Hospital in Burley, Idaho — in early to mid-June.

The shift will particularly help with getting children vaccinated, Webb said, because parents are “more comfortable” dealing with their family doctor, or their children’s pediatrician, “for getting their adolescents vaccinated.” The Pfizer vaccine is now authorized for patients 12 and older; the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson versions are approved for adults only.

During the first weeks of the vaccine’s availability, Intermountain set up mass vaccination sites at seven of its Utah hospitals: Logan Regional Hospital, McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, The Orthopedic Surgical Hospital in Murray, Park City Hospital, Riverton Hospital, St. George Regional Hospital and Provo’s Utah Valley Hospital.

Also, because of “decreased demand,” the COVID-19 testing site in the overflow parking lot at the Maverik Center will shut down for good at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 28. According to the Salt Lake County Health Department, more than 30,000 tests have been performed there since June 2020 — as many as 1,200 a day, a number that has declined to fewer than 85 per day.

“This operation has served its purpose,” said Salt Lake County Health Department medical director Dagmar Vitek, “and with other local testing opportunities widely available, it’s the right moment to transition public health’s resources to vaccination and other community needs.”

Community hot spot testing will still continue with the mobile testing team when needed.

COVID-19 vaccinations will continue in the Maverik Center’s main parking lot.

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