Utah reports more than 11,000 new COVID-19 cases Friday

It’s the second-highest total since the pandemic began. And seven more deaths were reported.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) A steady line of vehicles filled with multiple people waiting to be tested for Covid19 are tended to by members of the Utah Department of Health at the Cannon Health Building, Dec. 27, 2021.

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The Utah Department of Health on Friday reported 11,126 new coronavirus cases in the past day, pushing the state’s case tally since the pandemic began over the 750,000 mark.

Friday’s reported total was down from 12,990 cases reported on Thursday. But it still marked the second-highest daily case count reported since the pandemic began. Before last week, the highest number of new Utah cases reported in a single day was 4,706 in December 2020.

Utah has averaged 9,827 new cases a day for the past week — the highest that rolling seven-day average has been since the pandemic began. Before last week, the highest that figure had ever been was 3,392, reported in November 2020.

As of Friday, 22 children were hospitalized with COVID-19 at Primary Children’s Hospital — the highest number hospitalized since the pandemic began, Dr. Andrew Pavia, the chief infectious diseases physician at Utah’s largest children’s hospital said in a news conference.

Kids in grades K-12 accounted for 2,792 of the new cases announced Friday — 25.1% of the total. There were 616 cases reported in children aged 5-10; 500 cases in children 11-13; and 1,681 cases in children 14-18.

Hospitalizations also continue to climb, with 672 Utahns concurrently hospitalized with the coronavirus — the highest number of any day during the pandemic. Before this week, the highest hospital count on a single day was 606 patients, in December 2020.

At that time, more patients required intensive care: 213, versus the 182 patients with COVID in Utah’s ICUs as of Friday. But hospital staffing is tighter now than it was in 2020, Utah’s hospital administrators have said.

ICUs in the state’s larger, “referral” hospitals were at 93.9% capacity — above the 85% threshold that hospital administrators have said is necessary to leave room for unpredictable staffing levels, new patients and availability of specialized equipment and personnel.

Statewide, 91.9% of all ICU beds are filled.

The Utah Department of Health on Friday also reported eight more COVID-19 deaths in the past day. One of those deaths occurred before Dec. 14 and was only recently confirmed to have been caused by the coronavirus, the health department advised.

The number of children getting vaccinated continues to climb: 106,198 children ages 5-11 have received at least one dose since they became eligible. That is 29.1% of kids that age in Utah, according to the health department. And 74,313 of those kids have been fully vaccinated — 20.4% of that age group.

The number of children getting vaccinated continues to climb: 107,142 children ages 5-11 have received at least one dose since they became eligible. That is 29.4% of kids that age in Utah, according to the health department. And 75,149 of those kids have been fully vaccinated — 20.6% of that age group.

Find where to get vaccinated at coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine-distribution.

Find where to get tested at coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-covid-19-testing-locations.

Breakdown of updated figures

Vaccine doses administered in the past day/total doses administered • 11,201 / 4,695,762.

Number of Utahns fully vaccinated • 1,926,672 — 58.9% of Utah’s total population. That is an increase of 1,757 in the past day.

Cases reported in the past day • 11,128.

Vaccination status • Health officials do not immediately have or release the vaccination status of individuals who test positive, who are hospitalized, or who die. They do calculate the overall risk ratios of these outcomes depending on vaccination status, which is listed below.

Tests reported in the past day • 26,278 people were tested for the first time. A total of 49,316 people were tested.

Deaths reported in the past day • Eight.

There were four deaths in Salt Lake County — two men between the ages of 45-64, one man 65-84, and one woman 85 or older.

Davis County reported two deaths — both men 65-84.

And Washington and Weber counties each reported one death — both were men 25-44.

Utahns currently hospitalized with COVID-19 • 672. That is 34 more than reported on Thursday. Of those currently hospitalized, 182 are in intensive care — the same number reported on Thursday.

Percentage of positive tests • Under the state’s original method, the rate is 42.3% in the past day. That is higher than the seven-day average of 37.2%.

The state’s new method counts all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual. Friday’s rate was 22.6%, lower than the seven-day average of 25.6%.

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

Risk ratios • In the past four weeks, unvaccinated Utahns were 14.6 times as likely to die of COVID-19 as vaccinated people were, according to a Utah Department of Health analysis. The unvaccinated also were 6.5 times as likely to be hospitalized, and 2.3 times as likely to test positive for the coronavirus.

Totals to date • 750,334 cases; 3,951 deaths; 29,029 hospitalizations; 4,533,835 people tested.