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Utah sees largest single-day increase in COVID-19 deaths since January

Two additional deaths from before Sept. 1 also were reported Tuesday.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Lindsay Brown prepares a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a drive-thru event organized by the Utah County Health Department in Spanish Fork on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021.

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Twenty-three more Utahns died of COVID-19 in the past day, according to the state Health Department, the most reported in a single day since Jan. 5.

Another two people who died of the coronavirus before Sept. 1 also were added to the death toll Monday for a total of 25 deaths reported Tuesday.

In the past day, 1,326 Utahns tested positive for COVID-19, and school-age children accounted for 22% of those cases, the Utah Department of Health announced — a total of 294. There were 121 cases in children aged 5 to 10; 74 cases in children 11 to 13; and 99 cases in children 14 to 18.

The rolling seven-day average for positive tests stands at 1,464 per day.

In the past four weeks, unvaccinated Utahns were 5.9 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than vaccinated people, according to a UDOH analysis. The unvaccinated also were 7.2 times more likely to be hospitalized and 6.6 times more likely to test positive for the coronavirus.

An additional 6,658 Utahns were fully vaccinated in the past day, bringing the total to 1,659,378 — 50.7% of Utah’s total population.

Vaccine doses administered in past day / total doses administered • 9,764 / 3,399,468.

Utahns fully vaccinated • 1,659,378.

Cases reported in past day • 1,326.

Deaths reported in past day • 25.

There were six deaths in Salt Lake County — three men and a woman between the ages of 65-84, and a man and a woman 85-plus.

Three Davis County residents died — a man and a woman 45-64, and a man 65-84. Three Utah County residents died — a man and two women 85-plus. And three Washington County residents died — two men and a woman 45-64.

There were two deaths in Tooele County — a man 25-44, and a man 85-plus; two deaths in Uintah County — both men 25-44; and two deaths in Weber County — both women 65-84.

Four counties each reported one death — a Box Elder County man 65-84, a Duchesne County man 85-plus, a Sanpete County man 65-84, and a Summit County man 45-64.

Tests reported in past day • 7,925 people were tested for the first time. A total of 14,954 people were tested.

Hospitalizations reported in the past day • 580. That’s three more than reported on Monday. Of those currently hospitalized, 230 are in intensive care, three fewer than reported on Monday.

Percentage of positive tests • Under the state’s original method, the rate is 16.7% over the past day. That is higher than the seven-day average of 13.8%.

The state’s new method counts all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual. The rate reported Tuesday was 8.9%, which is lower than the seven-day average of 10%.

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

Totals to date • 495,704 cases; 2,829 deaths; 21,551 hospitalizations; 3,371,184 people tested.

‘Ivermectin is NOT a COVID-19 drug’

The Utah Department of Health on Tuesday also warned against taking ivermectin to try and treat COVID-19 after one Utahn who took “large doses” ended up hospitalized.

“Ivermectin is NOT a COVID-19 drug,” the health department advised in a news release. “There is no data to suggest this drug has any impact on COVID-19 infection.”

State epidemiologist Leisha Nolen on Tuesday urged health care professionals “to consider the harm they may cause if they provide ivermectin to patients with COVID-19 infection.”

“While there is no data showing it helps with COVID-19, there is very strong data showing it can do harm,” Nolen, with the state Health Department, said in a statement. “I also encourage pharmacists to question any prescriptions for high-dose ivermectin that is inappropriate for their client.”

The Utahn hospitalized after taking large doses of ivermectin suffered “serious health effects,” the Health Department said in the news release.

Low-dose ivermectin tablets are used to treat humans for parasitic worms, and there are topical versions used to treat head lice and skin conditions like rosacea. High-dose ivermectin in pour-on, injectable and paste forms is used to treat horses for worms, and some people have been using the horse ivermectin to treat themselves for COVID-19.

According state Health Department: “The continued promotion of the drug has led to an increase in people buying veterinary ivermectin and being hospitalized due to side effects of ingesting the drug. The CDC and the American Association of Poison Control Centers have seen a recent increase in calls related to severe side effects due to ivermectin.”

The number of calls about ivermectin is five times what it normally is, according to the Utah Poison Control Center.

If you have taken ivermectin and are worried about side effects, contact the Utah Poison Control Center. Poison specialists are available 24/7 at 1-800-222-1222. For emergencies, call 911.

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