Utah’s COVID-19 case numbers and deaths on the downswing

Twice this week, case counts dipped below 200 on consecutive days — something not seen since May 2020.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Janet Bitner vaccinates Jeffrey Hesterman on the last day the Salt Lake County Health Department's COVID-19 vaccine operation was open at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Saturday, May 29, 2021.

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A week full of mostly good news in terms of the spread and repercussions of COVID-19 culminated Sunday, with the Utah Department of Health reporting fewer than 200 cases and no deaths.

Earlier this week, Utah saw its first back-to-back days of fewer than 200 new cases since almost exactly a year ago (May 25-26, 2020). It repeated that feat Saturday and Sunday, when cases were down to 192 and 176, respectively.

Until Thursday, new cases had dropped from the corresponding day the previous week for a period of 10 straight days. And after Thursday’s blip, in which 309 new cases were detected, the downward trend continued. Saturday’s total was down by 70 from last week, and Sunday’s was down by 56. Those drops occurred despite similar testing numbers.

In addition, after seeing 32 deaths reported last week — including one day with 10 and one with 12 — the total toll this week was nine. The number of people hospitalized in intensive care units with COVID-19 increased by one total for the week, from 45 on May 23 to 46 on Sunday.

The positive trends could be short-lived, however. Case numbers tend to spike after holidays, as was perhaps first illustrated last year at this time. New cases in the state nearly doubled the Friday after Memorial Day in 2020 from the previous Friday, from 283 to 343.

Then again, more good news is on the horizon. Moderna announced Tuesday that it would seek approval for use of its vaccine in 12- to 17-year-olds from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by early June. And, as of Sunday, the UDOH reported 57.3% of all Utahns age 12 and older have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Vaccine doses administered in past day/total doses administered • 8,315 / 2,590,715.

Utahns fully vaccinated • 1,218,072.

Cases reported in past day • 176.

Deaths reported in past day • Zero.

Tests reported in past day • 2,672 people were tested for the first time. A total of 4,086 people were tested.

Hospitalizations reported in past day • 129. That’s 14 fewer than on Saturday. Of those currently hospitalized, 46 are in ICUs, three fewer than on Saturday.

Percentage of positive tests • Under the state’s original method, the rate is 6.6%. 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. Sunday’s rate was 4.3%, higher than the seven-day average of 3.9%.

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

Totals to date • 406,027 cases; 2,301 deaths; 16,805 hospitalizations; 2,689,687 people tested.

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