Utah’s COVID-19 deaths jump, case counts dip, state reports

Twenty-eight more Utahns have died from the coronavirus.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Syringes for Utah County residents to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in Spanish Fork on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. Twenty-eight more Utahns have died from the coronavirus in the past week, state health officials reported.

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Another 28 Utahns died of COVID-19 in the past week, a dozen more than were reported a week ago, state health officials announced Thursday.

As of Thursday, there have been 4,928 COVID-19 deaths in Utah since the start of the pandemic, according to the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.

All but six of the deaths reported in the past week were Utahns ages 65 or older. Ten of those who died were 85 or older.

Utah’s latest COVID-19 metrics released Thursday showed a 14% decrease in newly documented coronavirus cases since last week. But 70.6% of Utah wastewater sites continue to report high levels of the virus in sewers. Case counts are generally considered underreported because home tests are not recorded.

The state reported 5,866 new coronavirus cases this week, 736 fewer than reported on July 28, when the state last released data.

Utah saw an 11.2% decrease in its seven-day average case counts, as well as a 10.8% decrease in test positivity rates.

Even though the results of home tests are not reported to the state, four counties — Millard, Piute, Wayne and San Juan — each has high COVID-19 community levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Salt Lake, Summit and Wasatch counties, which were rated high a week ago, are now considered to have medium COVID-19 community levels.)

The CDC recommends people in those counties wear masks and social distance when visiting indoor public spaces.

Two weeks ago, after Utah officially surpassed 1 million COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, health officials said the BA.5 omicron subvariant was fueling the ongoing surge.

Compared to last week, hospitalizations declined. DHHS reported 210 patients in the hospital Thursday, 42 fewer than last week.

The seven-day average of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 fell 3%; the seven-day average of COVID patients in intensive care fell 16.3%, and the seven-day average of new coronavirus patients admitted to a hospital fell 11.4%.

Breakdown of updated figures:

Vaccine doses administered in the past week/total doses administered • 14,649 / 5,329,716.

Number of Utahns fully vaccinated • 2,041,438 — 62.8% of Utah’s total population. Another 974,403 Utahns have received at least one booster shot — 30% of the population.

Cases reported in the past week • 5,130

Average cases per day reported in the past week • 833.

Deaths reported in the past week •28.

There were eight deaths in Salt Lake County — a man and a woman between the ages of 45-64; two men and a woman between the ages of 65-84; and three men 85 or older.

Utah County reported four deaths — a woman 45-64; a woman 65-84; and a man and a woman 85 or older.

There were also four deaths in Washington County — two men and one woman 65-84; and a man 85 or older.

And Weber County also reported four deaths — a woman 45-64; two women 65-84; and a man 85 or older.

Three Davis County women died — one 45-64, one 65-84, and one 85 or older. And there were two deaths in Carbon County — a man 45-64; and a woman 65-84.

Three counties each reported one death — a man 85 or older in Box Elder County; a woman 85 or older in Cache County; and a man 65-84 in Uintah County.

Hospitalizations reported this week • As of Thursday, 210 Utahns were hospitalized with COVID-19, 42 fewer than the previous week. There were 33 in intensive care, 11 fewer than last week.

Percentage of positive tests • Counting all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual, 23.6% of the tests conducted came back positive, compared to 26.5% at this point last week.

When repeated tests on the same individual are not counted, 30.7% of the tests administered yielded positive results, down from 34.2% the previous week.

Totals to date • 1,015,442 cases; 4,928 deaths; 37,273 hospitalizations.