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 morning. To support journalism like this, please donate or become a subscriber.
For the second day in a row, there were well over 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Utah — 1,280 on Thursday, following on 1,488 on Wednesday.
The rolling seven day average of new cases inched up from 1,004 to 1,010 — the highest average since Feb. 11.
The average age Utahns dying of the coronavirus has dropped significantly in the past few weeks. It was 74 from the beginning of the pandemic to July 2, and it’s about 64 since then, according to analysis from The Salt Lake Tribune. Seven of the 14 deaths reported Thursday were among people ages 64 and under.
Fourteen Utahns were added to the death toll. According to the Utah Department of Health, five of those deaths occurred before July 19 and were added to the total after further testing.
Since Feb. 23, there has been only one day with more than nine deaths — 10 on July 31.
The case count is 392 higher than it was one week ago (888 on Aug. 12). It’s more than twice what it was a month ago (566 on July 19), and almost five times what it was three months ago (265 on May 19). Six months ago, there were 783 new cases (on Feb. 19); and a year ago, there were 458 new cases (Aug. 19, 2020).
In the past four weeks, unvaccinated Utahns were 5.5 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than vaccinated people, according to a UDOH analysis. The unvaccinated were also 6.3 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 4.9 times more likely to test positive from the coronavirus.
An additional 3,563 Utahns were fully vaccinated in the past day, bringing the total to 1,535,444 — 46.9% of Utah’s total population.
According to UDOH, Utah has seen 7,757 “breakthrough” cases of COVID-19 — people who contracted the virus two weeks or more after being fully vaccinated. That’s about one in every 198 people who are fully vaccinated.
Of that number, 460 have been hospitalized, one in about every 3,338 fully vaccinated people. And there have been 34 deaths, one in about every 45,160 fully vaccinated people.
Vaccine doses administered in past day/total doses administered • 9,280 / 3,166,428.
Utahns fully vaccinated • 1,535,444.
Cases reported in past day • 1,280.
Deaths reported in past day • 14.
There were five deaths in Salt Lake County — a man between the ages of 25-44, a man and a woman 45-64, and a man and a woman 65-84.
San Juan County reported two deaths — a man and a woman 65-84. There were also two deaths in Utah County — a man 45-64, and a man 65-84. And two deaths in Weber County — a man 45-64, and a man 65-84.
A Cache County woman 45-64 and a Sanpete County woman 85-plus also died.
Tests reported in past day • 7,878 people were tested for the first time. A total of 13,028 people were tested.
Hospitalizations reported in the past day • 399. That’s one more than on Wednesday. Of those currently hospitalized, 162 are in intensive care, seven more than on Wednesday.
Percentage of positive tests • Under the state’s original method, the rate is 16.2%. That’s higher than the seven-day average of 13.9%.
The state’s new method counts all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual. Thursday’s rate was 9.8%, about the same as the seven-day average of 9.9%
Totals to date • 450,539 cases; 2,563 deaths; 19,547 hospitalizations; 3,043,699 people tested.
According to the Salt Lake County Health Department, there have been 36 cases of COVID-19 reported at schools in the county in the past two weeks — and 16 of those cases were at the Pacific Heritage Academy in Salt Lake City, which began school on Aug. 2, earlier than most other schools. Fifteen other schools have had students test positive; all have had fewer than five cases.
The enrollment at the Pacific Heritage Academy is about 325 in grades K-12.
This story is developing and will be updated.