Utah COVID-19 positivity rates, hospitalizations down as state reports 12 deaths

A total of 4,940 Utahns have died of the coronavirus since the pandemic began.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) A registered nurse and a clinical assistant get nasal swabs and information from a family of four at the Nomi Health COVID-19 testing site in the parking lot of Amazon Friday, June 10, 2022 in Salt Lake City

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A dozen more Utahns died of COVID-19 in the past week — 16 fewer deaths than were reported a week ago, state health officials announced Thursday.

All 12 of those who died were age 65 or older, and half of them were age 85 or older. As of Thursday, there have been 4,940 COVID-19 deaths in Utah since the start of the pandemic, according to the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.

Utah’s latest COVID-19 metrics released Thursday showed more than 4,600 new coronavirus cases in Utah in the past week, although that number does not include home tests. And 64.7% of Utah wastewater sites reported high levels of the virus in sewers, down from 70.6% the previous week.

Utah saw an 9.1% decrease in its seven-day average case counts, as well as a 5.9% decrease in test positivity rates.

For the second week in a row, four counties — Millard, Piute, Wayne and San Juan — each has high COVID-19 community transmission rates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommends people in those counties wear masks and social distance when visiting indoor public spaces.

Box Elder, Carbon, Daggett, Davis, Emery, Morgan and Rich counties are rated low transmission; the remainder of the state is rated medium transmission.

Three weeks after Utah officially surpassed 1 million COVID-19 cases, the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic is now 1,020,130. According to health officials, the BA.5 omicron subvariant is fueling the ongoing surge.

Compared to last week, hospitalizations declined. DHHS reported 191 patients in the hospital Thursday, 19 fewer than last week.

The seven-day average of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 fell 15.8%; the seven-day average of COVID patients in intensive care fell 10.2%, and the seven-day average of new coronavirus patients admitted to a hospital fell 13.1%.

Over the past week, 3.63% of emergency room visits in Utah were for COVID-19, down from 4.26% the previous week.

Breakdown of updated figures:

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

Number of Utahns fully vaccinated • 2,043,917 — 62.9% of Utah’s total population. Another 977,223Utahns have received at least one booster shot — 30.1% of the population.

Cases reported in the past week •18,688

Average cases per day reported in the past week • 671.3.

Deaths reported in the past week • 12.

There were four deaths in Salt Lake County — a man and a woman between the ages of 64-84, and two men 85 or older.

Cache County reported two deaths — a man and a woman 65-84. There were also two deaths in Washington County — a man 65-84, and a man 85 or older.

Four counties each reported a single death — a Davis County man 85 or older; a Duchesne County woman 65-84; a Uintah County man 85 or older; and a Utah County man 85 or older.

Hospitalizations reported this week • As of Thursday, 191 Utahns were hospitalized with COVID-19, 19 fewer than the previous week. There were 24 in intensive care, nine fewer than last week.

Percentage of positive tests • Counting all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual, 22.32% of the tests conducted came back positive, compared to 23.6% at this point last week.

When repeated tests on the same individual are not counted, 29.21% of the tests administered yielded positive results, down from 31.04% the previous week.

Totals to date • 1,020.130 cases; 4,940 deaths; 37,486 hospitalizations.