Utah’s weekend COVID-19 case count includes lowest single-day tally in 2 years

COVID-19 hospitalization rates have fallen since Friday, the Utah Department of Health reported.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) COVID-19 testing and vaccinations are provided in the east with of the Utah Capitol complex for the start of the 2022 legislative session on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.

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Utah reported 343 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend — 67 on Friday, 102 on Saturday and 174 on Sunday.

Friday’s tally marked the state’s lowest single-day case count since March 25, 2020, when 40 cases were reported in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. The next day, Utah reported 86 cases, state data shows.

In the past week, the average number of new cases per day is 134; the average number of new cases per day so far this month is 190.

The Utah Department of Health also reported 12 new COVID-19 deaths Monday. Five of the deaths occurred before Feb. 21. After further study, UDOH also removed one death reported on Nov. 2, 2021, bringing the state’s overall COVID-19 death toll to 4,572 since the pandemic began.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 fell to 130 on Monday, a decrease of 26 since Friday. There were 22 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units, four fewer than Friday.

According to UDOH, 62.8% of Utah’s ICU beds are filled, which falls below the 85% threshold that healthcare workers have said is needed to have enough rooms, equipment and staff available to treat new patients. COVID-19 patients make up 6.7% of the state’s ICU patients.

A UDOH analysis continues to show that booster shots significantly decrease Utahns’ chances of dying of COVID-19. Over the past four weeks:

• An unvaccinated person who contracts the virus is 3.2 times more likely to die than a fully vaccinated person, and 15.4 times more likely than a boosted person.

• An unvaccinated person who contracts the virus is 2.1 times more likely to be hospitalized than a fully vaccinated person, and 5.3 times more likely than a boosted person.

• An unvaccinated person is 1.9 times as likely to contract the virus than a fully vaccinated person, and twice likely than a boosted person.

While state data shows 61.4% of Utahns were fully vaccinated as of Monday, just 27.4% of all Utahns have received a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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.

Intermountain surpasses 2 million processed COVID-19 tests

Intermountain Healthcare announced Monday that it has collected and processed more than two million COVID-19 tests since the start of the pandemic.

That’s just a fraction of the total number of tests processed in Utah — 9,359,869 as of Monday, which amounts to nearly three tests for every Utahn, state data shows. And that doesn’t count home tests.

On Friday, March 13, 2020, Intermountain’s Central Lab in Murray began processing COVID-19 tests, evaluating 14 that day. Within a week, caregivers were processing 204 tests a day, but supplies were still limited, according to a news release.

Intermountain ultimately set up 25 collection sites across the state, and implemented new testing methods to increase volume and turnaround time. Now, the lab can process and evaluate 9,500 COVID-19 tests a day and provide results with 24 hours for 90% of them.

“Testing and quick turnaround times have been key to keeping people safe and giving them the information needed to protect those around them,” Bert Lopansri, Intermountain Healthcare’s associate medical director for infectious diseases and medical director for microbiology, said in statement.

In the event of another surge, Intermountain is prepared to ramp up testing once again, according to the news release.

Breakdown of updated figures

Vaccine doses administered in the past three days/total doses administered • 4,500 / 4,989,761.

Number of Utahns fully vaccinated • 1,995,576 — 61.4% of Utah’s total population. That is an increase of 1,195 in the past three days.

Cases reported during the past three days • 343.

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 above.

Tests reported in the past three days • A total of 18,048 people were tested.

Deaths reported in the past three days • 12. Five deaths occurred before Feb. 21.

There were four deaths in Utah County — two women between the ages of 65-84, and a man and a woman 85 or older. And there were three deaths in Washington County — a man 45-64, and a man and a woman 65-84.

Salt Lake County reported two deaths — a woman 25-44, and a woman 65-84. There were also two deaths in Davis County — both women 65-84.

A Weber County man 65-84 also died.

Hospitalizations reported in the day • 130. That’s 26 fewer than reported on Friday. Of those currently hospitalized, 22 are in intensive care, four fewer than on Friday.

Percentage of positive tests • Under the state’s original method, the rate was 3.6% over the past three days. That is lower than the seven-day average of 4.8%.

The state’s new method counts all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual. Monday’s rate was 1.9%, lower than the seven-day average of 2.8%.

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

Totals to date • 926,785 cases; 4,572 deaths; 33,850 hospitalizations; 9,359,869 tests administered.