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.
Thirteen more Utahns died of COVID-19 in the past week, bringing the state’s total death toll since the pandemic began to 4,806, according to the Utah Department of Health. Ten of the deaths in the past week were people ages 65 and over, and three were 85 or older.
Another 6,522 cases of the coronavirus were also reported, just nine fewer the previous week.
The number of hospitalizations and the percentage of positive tests both rose slightly.
This week’s COVID-19 report comes in the midst of a coronavirus surge that is expected to continue for several more weeks. Experts say omicron subvariants are driving it.
In the past week, the state’s seven-day average of new cases remained almost unchanged — 1,071.3, a decrease of 2.3 per day.
State officials are looking less to new cases as a way to track COVID-19 spread, as fewer people are getting tested since the state shuttered most of its free testing facilities. In the past seven days, 18,451 people were tested, — 10,310 fewer than the week before. The weekly rate of positive tests rose slightly, from 22.19% to 22.98%.
Instead, experts are looking at other metrics, like hospitalizations and emergency room visits, to judge the severity of coronavirus outbreaks. State data shows increases in hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
Officials urge those who test positive or have COVID-19 symptoms to stay home to avoid infecting others. Isolation guidance is available at coronavirus.utah.gov/protect-yourself.
They also urge Utahns to get up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines, which can prevent serious illness.
COVID-19 hospitalization rates
Data shows coronavirus patients made up 4.21% of emergency room visits in the past week, up slightly from 3.78% the previous week.
Since last week, 151 more Utahns have been hospitalized with coronavirus, bringing the total to 35,362 patients hospitalized since the pandemic began. There were 192 COVID-19 patients in Utah hospitals as of Thursday, 19 more than a week ago.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs decreased by three to 21.
The state reported 15,140 more Utahns received a COVID-19 vaccine since June 9, the last time it released data. Of those, 1,743 are now fully vaccinated, meaning they have had two doses of an mRNA series vaccine, like Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, or one dose of the Janssen vaccine.
About 62.4% of Utahns — a total of 2,028,527 — are fully vaccinated, and 29.1% have received at least one booster shot, the data shows.
Breakdown of updated figures
Vaccine doses administered in the past week/total doses administered • 16,999 / 5,225,905
Number of Utahns fully vaccinated • 2,028,527 — 62.4% of Utah’s total population.
Cases reported in the past week: 6,522.
Average cases per day reported in the past week • 933, down from 1,073.6 the previous week.
Tests reported from June 2-9 • 18,451.
Deaths reported in the past week • 13.
There were six deaths in Salt Lake County: A man between the ages of 45-64, a man and three women 65-84, and a man 85-plus.
Three Utah County residents died: A man 25-44, a woman 65-84, and a woman 85-plus.
Four counties each reported a single death: A woman 85-plus in Davis County; a woman 65-84 in Tooele County, a woman 45-64 in Uintah County; and a woman 65-84 in Weber County.
Hospitalizations reported this week • 192 as of Thursday, an increase of 19 in the past week. There were 21 patients in intensive care, three fewer than reported a week ago.
Percentage of positive tests • Counting all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual, this week’s rate was 22.98%. That is higher than the previous seven-day average of 22.19%.
Not counting individuals’ repeated test results, this week’s rate was 28.62%, higher than the previous seven-day average of 27.48%.
Totals to date • 969,610 cases; 4,806 deaths; 35,362 hospitalizations.