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12 more Utahns die of COVID-19

1,704 new coronavirus cases were reported Thursday.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Dr. Diane Gilles takes a handful of syringes filled with the Moderna vaccine to be given to people on Thursday, March 18, 2021, as the Utah Film Studios loans its space to the Summit County Health Department as a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination station.

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A dozen more Utahns have died of COVID-19 in the past day, the Utah Department of Health announced Wednesday.

After reporting a significant drop in the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients on Wednesday — 110 fewer in a a single day — UDOH corrected that number Thursday.

Dr. Leisha Nolan, the state’s epidemiologist, said one hospital system in Utah — she wouldn’t say which one — reported “very different numbers” on Wednesday than they have given in recent weeks.

“We’re not sure what caused that blip, but it was one specific hospital system,” Nolan said. “There was some sort of reporting error somewhere along the way.”

UDOH reported 1,704 new cases on Thursday, which brought the total number of cases recorded statewide to 506,790 since the pandemic began.

Intensive care units in Utah hospitals are at 94.8% capacity, and 36% of patients in ICU beds are hospitalized with COVID-19.

School-age children accounted for 21% of new coronavirus cases, the state health department announced — a total of 360. There were 179 cases in children aged 5 to 10; 65 cases in children 11 to 13; and 116 cases in children 14 to 18.

The rolling seven-day average for positive tests stands at 1,355 per day.

In the past four weeks, unvaccinated Utahns were 5.6 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than vaccinated people, according to a UDOH analysis. The unvaccinated also were 7.6 times more likely to be hospitalized and 6.5 times more likely to test positive for the coronavirus.

An additional 1,722 Utahns were fully vaccinated in the past day, bringing the total to 1,683,665 — 51.5% of Utah’s total population.

Vaccine doses administered in past day / total doses administered • 5,739 / 3,471,701.

Utahns fully vaccinated • 1,683,665.

Cases reported in past day • 1,704.

Deaths reported in past day • 12.

Utah County reported three deaths — a man 45-64, a man 65-84, and a man 85-plus.

There were two deaths in Washington County — both men 65-84.

One Salt Lake County resident died — a man 85-plus.

Other deaths were a Davis County man 65-84, an Emery County man 45-64, a Millard County man 65-84, a Summit County woman 65-84, Weber County man 65-84, and a Sanpete County resident who gender was not reported, 85-plus.

Tests reported in past day • 9,621 people were tested for the first time. A total of 17,511 people were tested.

Hospitalizations reported in the past day • 566. That’s 15 fewer than reported on Tuesday. Of those currently hospitalized, 211 are in intensive care — two fewer than reported on Tuesday.

Percentage of positive tests • Under the state’s original method, the rate was 17.7% over the past day. That is higher than the seven-day average of 14.2%.

The state’s new method counts all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual. The rate reported Tuesday was 9.7% — about the same as the seven-day average of 9.8%.

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

Totals to date • 504,494 cases; 2,932 deaths; 22,156 hospitalizations; 3,453,791 people tested. (UDOH originally reported an incorrect number of cases Thursday, which has been updated.)

Tribune reporter Sean P. Means contributed to this story.



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