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.
Exactly two years after Utah announced its first COVID-19 fatality, the state health department reported 38 more deaths — 31 of which occurred before Feb. 22.
According to the Utah Department of Health, “as the COVID-19 case burden in Utah has decreased in the past weeks, epidemiologists at the UDOH and local health departments have been reviewing past death certificate data to ensure all COVID-19 deaths have been reported.”
Those reviews have potentially identified about 90 additional deaths, according to the health department, which will be reported by March 28.
The addition of 38 deaths Tuesday brought Utah’s coronavirus death toll to 4,610 since the pandemic began.
On Tuesday, the Utah Department of Health also reported 109 new COVID-19 cases, marking the 11th day in a row with fewer than 200 cases, and the 18th day in a row with fewer than 250.
In the past week, the average number of new cases per day was 134; the average number of new cases per day so far this month is 186.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 fell to 126 on Tuesday, a decrease of four patients since Monday. There were 19 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units, three fewer than Monday.
According to UDOH, 64.1% 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 5.8% 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 3.5 times more likely to die than a fully vaccinated person, and 18.2 times more likely than a boosted person.
• An unvaccinated person who contracts the virus is 2.2 times more likely to be hospitalized than a fully vaccinated person, and 5.4 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.
Breakdown of updated figures
Vaccine doses administered in the past three days/total doses administered • 1,799 / 4,991,560.
Number of Utahns fully vaccinated • 1,996,059 — 61.4% of Utah’s total population. That is an increase of 483 in the past day.
Cases reported during the past day • 109.
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 day • A total of 5,468 people were tested.
Deaths reported in the past day• 38. Thirty-one of the deaths occurred before Feb. 22.
There were nine deaths in Salt Lake County: a woman 25-54, three men 45-64, four women 65-84, and a woman 85 or older.
Utah County reported six deaths: a man 45-64, a man and three women 65-84, and a man 85 or older.
There were five deaths in Davis County: two men and a woman 45-64, a woman 65-84, and a man 85 or older. Washington County also reported five deaths: a man 45-64, a man and a woman 65-84, and two men 85 or older.
Uintah County reported three deaths: two men 65-84, and a woman 85 or older. Weber County reported two deaths: a woman 65-84, and a man 85-plus.
Seven other counties each reported a single death — a Box Elder County man 65-84; a Cache County man 65-84; a Carbon County man 45-64; a Kane County man 65-84; a Morgan County woman 65-84; a Sanpete County man 45-64; and a Tooele County man 65-84.
The county of residence was not listed for one additional death, a man 85 or older.
Hospitalizations reported in the past day • 126. That’s four fewer than reported on Monday. Of those currently hospitalized, 19 are in intensive care, three fewer than on Monday.
Percentage of positive tests • Under the state’s original method, the rate was 4.2% over the past day. That is lower than the seven-day average of 4.7%.
The state’s new method counts all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual. Tuesday’s rate was 2%, lower than the seven-day average of 2.7%.
Totals to date • 926,894 cases; 4,610 deaths; 33,872 hospitalizations; 9,365,337 tests administered.