Utah’s COVID-19 cases, emergency room visits and wastewater levels are increasing

The state also reported four more coronavirus deaths.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Gideon Crane, left, is tested for COVID-19 at a center run by Granite School District and the Salt Lake County Department of Health near Thomas Jefferson Junior High in Kearns, Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022.

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Utah reported nearly 1,200 new coronavirus cases in the past seven days and four more deaths, the Department of Health reported Thursday.

At 1,197, the number of new cases reported this week was hundreds higher than the 740 reported last Thursday. The state reported a 61.1% increase in the seven-day average of new cases, moving from 107.6 to 173.3. The weekly rate of positive tests also rose from 3.16% to 5.05%.

State officials have been focusing less on new cases to track COVID-19 spread, since fewer people are being tested. This past week, however, the seven-day testing average increased. On April 14, officials reported an average 2,288 tests over the last seven days. That number jumped to 2,453 on Wednesday.

Officials also are looking at wastewater analysis and hospitalizations and emergency room visits to identify outbreaks or concerning spread.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s survey of 32 municipal wastewater treatment facilities — covering roughly 88% of the state’s population — showed that 25% of those sites reported elevated or increasing COVID-19 RNA levels. This is compared to 18.8% last week.

The state reported one site where COVID-19 levels were elevated and at three sites listed as under “watch,” officials had detected enough of the virus to indicate “potential concern.” Last week, there were no sites with elevated levels and just one site on watch.

Most of the sites, 84.4%, have “low” levels of coronavirus in the sewer.

There were seven sites where officials found increasing levels of coronavirus, one more than last week. Those sites include: Coalville and East Canyon in Summit County; South Davis in Davis County; Salt Lake City and Central Valley in Salt Lake County; Timpanogos in Utah County and St. George in Washington County.

At 22 sites, levels had plateaued. One site, Tooele, reported decreasing levels after it reported elevated levels last week.

Data shows coronavirus patients made up 0.68% of emergency room visits in the past week, compared to 0.51% the week prior.

Since last week, 51 more Utahns have been hospitalized with coronavirus, for 34,200 throughout the pandemic. There are currently 67 COVID-19 patients in Utah hospitals, four more than last week.

The number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs grew from 11 to 14.

The state reported 23,666 more Utahns received a COVID-19 vaccine since April 14, the last time the state released date.

More than 3,077 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. Numbers show that 61.8% of Utahns are fully vaccinated and 28% have received a booster shot.

Breakdown of updated figures

Vaccine doses administered in the past week/total doses administered • 23,666 / 5,077,421.

Number of Utahns fully vaccinated • 2,009,664 — 61.8% of Utah’s total population. That is an increase of 3,077 in the past seven days.

Cases reported in the past week: 1,197.

Average cases per day reported in the past week • 173.3.

Tests reported from April 14 to April 20 • 17,173.

Deaths reported in the past week • 4.

Salt Lake County reported two people died, both women, one age 65 to 84 and the other age 85 or older. Utah and Kane counties each reported the death of a woman age 65 to 84.

Hospitalizations reported in the past week • 67. That is four more than reported last week. Of those currently hospitalized, 14 are in intensive care, three more than reported last week.

Percentage of positive tests • Counting all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual, this week’s rate was 5.05%. That’s slightly higher than the previous seven-day average of 3.16%.

Totals to date • 930,558 cases; 4,740 deaths; 34,200 hospitalizations.