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.
Ten more Utahns died of COVID-19 in the past week, bringing the state’s total death toll since the pandemic began to 4,816, according to the Utah Department of Health.
Another 5,897 cases of the coronavirus were also reported, 625 fewer the previous week. Since the pandemic began, there have been more than 975,000 cases reported in the Beehive State.
The number of hospitalizations and the percentage of positive tests both rose.
In the past week, the state’s seven-day average of new cases rose — 970.4, up from 930.6 the previous week.
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, 23,967 people were tested, 5,516 more than the week before. The weekly rate of positive tests rose slightly, from 22.86% to 23.04%.
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 4.61% of emergency room visits in the past week, up slightly from 4.21% the previous week.
Since last week, 243 more Utahns have been hospitalized with coronavirus, bringing the total to 35,605 patients hospitalized since the pandemic began. There were 215 COVID-19 patients in Utah hospitals as of Thursday, 23 more than a week ago.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs increased by 18 to 39.
The state reported 11,714 more Utahns received a COVID-19 vaccine since June 16, the last time it released data. Of those, 1,336 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 62.5% of Utahns — a total of 2,029,863— are fully vaccinated, and 29.3% have received at least one booster shot, the data shows.
Breakdown of updated figures
Vaccine doses administered in the past week/total doses administered • 11,714 / 5,238,371
Number of Utahns fully vaccinated • 2,029,863 — 62.5% of Utah’s total population.
Cases reported in the past week: 5,897.
Average cases per day reported in the past week • 970.4, up from 930.6 the previous week.
Tests reported from June 11-23 • 23,967.
Deaths reported in the past week • 10.
According to the health department, five of the deaths occurred in Salt Lake County: Three women between the ages of 65-84, and two men 85-plus.
Two Utah County residents died: A woman 65-84 and a man 85-plus.
A Davis County man 85-plus, a Wasatch County man 65-84, and a Weber County man 65-84 also died.
Hospitalizations reported this week • 215 as of Thursday, an increase of 23 in the past week. There were 39 patients in intensive care, 18 more 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 23.04%. That is higher than the previous seven-day average of 22.86%.
Not counting individuals’ repeated test results, this week’s rate was 29.13%, higher than the previous seven-day average of 28.78%.
Totals to date • 975,507 cases; 4,816 deaths; 35,604 hospitalizations.
Correction • The Utah Department of Health has not confirmed that one of the deaths in the past week was a child, as an earlier version of this article reported.