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.
Utah’s COVID-19 death toll continues to rise by double-digits. The state Health Department on Wednesday reported the deaths of 16 more residents of the Beehive State.
In the first week of December, 77 deaths have been reported — an average of 11 per day.
Of the deaths reported Wednesday, nine people were under the age of 65. One was a Salt Lake County woman between the ages of 18-24. Three were between the ages of 25-44, and five were between the ages of 45-64, according to the Utah Department of Health.
The Health Department also reported 1,423 new coronavirus cases in the past day. The rolling seven-day average of new cases stands at 1,416.
The number of children getting vaccinated continues to climb — 77.027 children ages 5-11 have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine since they became eligible; that’s 21.1% of kids within that age range in Utah, according to the Health Department.
Intensive care units in the state remain near capacity. UDOH reported Wednesday that 93.1% of all ICU beds in Utah and 97.5% of ICU beds in larger medical centers in the state are occupied. (Hospitals consider any figure over 85% to be functionally full). Of all ICU patients, 42% are being treated for COVID-19.
Vaccine doses administered in the past day/total doses administered • 19,764 / 4,273,903.
Number of Utahns fully vaccinated • 1,845,288 1,839,828 — 56.4% of Utah’s total population. That is an increase of 5,460 in the past day.
Cases reported in the past day • 1,423.
Cases among school-age children • Kids in grades K-12 accounted for 240 of the new cases announced Wednesday — 16.9% of the total. There were 126 cases reported in children aged 5-10; 46 cases in children 11-13; and 86 cases in children 14-18.
Tests reported in past day • 10,920 people were tested for the first time. A total of 22,128 people were tested.
Deaths reported in past day • 16.
There were six deaths in Salt Lake County. In addition to the woman between the ages of 18-24, there were two men 25-44, two men 45-64, and a woman 85 or older who died.
Two Davis County residents died — a man and a woman 65-84.
Eight counties each reported a single death — a man 65-84 in Box Elder County; a man 65-84 in Cache County; a man 45-64 in Carbon County; a man 45-64 in Davis County; a man 25-44 in Iron County; a man 46-64 in Utah County; a woman 65-84 in Washington County; and a woman 65-84 in Weber County.
Hospitalizations reported in the past day • 521. That is five more than reported on Tuesday. Of those currently hospitalized, 199 are in intensive care, eight fewer than reported on Tuesday. And 41% of patients in ICUs are being treated for COVID-19.
Percentage of positive tests • Under the state’s original method, the rate is 13% in the past day. That is lower than the seven-day average of 15.7%.
The state’s new method counts all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual. Wednesday’s rate was 6.4%, lower than the seven-day average of 10.4%.
Risk ratios • In the past four weeks, unvaccinated Utahns were 15.9 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than vaccinated people, according to a Utah Department of Health analysis. The unvaccinated also were 9.3 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 3.5 times more likely to test positive for the coronavirus.
Totals to date • 607,954 cases; 3,622 deaths; 26,416 hospitalizations; 4,047,065 people tested.