Utah’s flu activity is ‘rapidly’ increasing, data shows, as COVID-19 and RSV also continue to rise

Health officials expect the increases to continue throughout the winter.

Respiratory virus season is in full swing, with rising COVID-19, RSV and flu activity, and state health officials predict more increases in infections and hospitalizations as we get deeper into winter.

This past week, health officials saw a “rapid” increase in flu activity. That means the number of people showing up to emergency rooms across the state with flu-like symptoms increased dramatically, outpacing both COVID-19 and RSV patients, according to the Department of Health and Human Services dashboard. Most of those visits were for patients between the ages of 5 and 24.

Despite the rapid increase, the current levels of flu-associated hospitalizations in the state are considered “moderate” and the levels of outpatient flu-like illness rate are considered “low.”

Health officials also saw increases in COVID-19 and and RSV activity.

Wastewater sites across the state — 91.4% of them — are showing elevated levels of the coronavirus, and 48.6% of sites are showing increasing levels, according to the Utah Wastewater Surveillance System. The only wastewater testing site showing “low” levels of the virus was in Coalville, in Summit County.

The weekly average for new hospital admissions rose nearly 12%, from 19.7 patients to 22. Three COVID-19 patients were reported to have died in the past week.

The “best time” to get vaccines to protect against COVID-19 and flu “is now,” health officials said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended those with an increased risk for severe RSV, such as adults over 60 and infants and young children, receive a vaccine.