Utah reports nearly 700 new COVID-19 cases; sewage shows increased virus levels at 6 sites

Utah Department of Health reported 16 more people have died, including two men under age 45.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Cars wait in line for COVID-19 testing in Herriman, Monday, Jan. 03, 2022.

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Utah has recorded nearly 700 new COVID-19 cases in the past week and 16 more deaths, including two Utah County men under age 45, the state Department of Health reported Thursday.

State officials expected that case counts would decline as they shuttered testing locations, and data shows that the 7-day testing average has dropped by 4,869 on March 31 to 3,492 on Wednesday.

Because of that presumption and those closures, officials said they would switch their focus to monitoring sewage, hospitalizations and emergency room visits to judge coronavirus’s spread.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality indicated that six of Utah’s 32 municipal wastewater facilities — or 18.8% — showed an increase in coronavirus levels. The sites are located in Taylorsville, Riverton, Bluffdale, Cedar City, St. George and Moab.

The virus is decreasing in Vernal, Tooele and Lehi. Elsewhere along the Wasatch Front and Wasatch Back, coronavirus levels remained steady.

Coronavirus patients made up 0.57% of emergency room visits in the past week, compared to 0.66% the week prior.

The number of Utahns getting vaccinated against the virus grew by 24,541 since March 31, the last time the state released COVID-19 data.

More than 3,600 became fully vaccinated in the past week, meaning they’ve had two doses of an mRNA series vaccine, like Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, or one dose of the Janssen vaccine.

Since last week, 95 more Utahns have been hospitalized with coronavirus, for 34,129 throughout the pandemic. There are currently 80 COVID-19 patients in Utah hospitals, 13 less than last week.

The number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs dropped from 18 to 15.

Breakdown of updated figures

Vaccine doses administered in the past day/total doses administered • 24,541 / 5,033,308.

Number of Utahns fully vaccinated • 2,004,106 — 61.7% of Utah’s total population. That is an increase of 3,629 in the past seven days.

Cases reported in the past week: 699.

Average cases per day reported in the past week • 101.

Tests reported from March 31 to April 6 • 24,443.

Deaths reported in the past week • 16.

One Sevier County man older than age 85 died. Seven Utahns ages 65 to 84 died; they included a man and a woman from Salt Lake County; a man and a woman from Weber County; a man from Utah County and two women from Washington County.

A Salt Lake County woman between the ages of 45 and 64 died; five men in that age range died, one each from Garfield, Salt Lake, Weber, Washington and Davis counties.

Two Utah County men between 25 and 44 also died.

Hospitalizations reported in the past week • 80. That is 13 fewer than reported last week. Of those currently hospitalized, 15 are in intensive care, three fewer than reported last week.

Percentage of positive tests • Counting all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual, this week’s rate was 2.76%. That’s slightly lower than the previous 7-day average of 2.93%.

Totals to date • 928,621 cases; 4,730 deaths; 34,129 hospitalizations