Another dozen deaths reported, but rate of new Utah coronavirus cases is steady

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) COVID-19 vaccine being administered in Utah Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.

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 weekday morning. To support journalism like this, please donate or become a subscriber.

With 2,302 new coronavirus cases reported Tuesday, Utah’s rate of new diagnoses has held steady for about a week.

The Utah Department of Health on Tuesday reported a seven-day average of 2,478 new positive test results per day, on par with the 2,400-to-2,600 weekly average the state has been reporting for the past several days.

About 8,500 Utahns had received the COVID-19 vaccine as of Tuesday’s report, up nearly 2,000 from Monday.

Utah’s death toll from the coronavirus stood at 1,173 Tuesday, with 12 fatalities reported since Monday:

  • A Box Elder County man, age 65 to 84.

  • A Uintah County woman, age 45 to 64.

  • Two Salt Lake County women, one age 45 to 64 and the other age 65 to 84.

  • Three Salt Lake County men, two ages 45 to 64 and one age 65 to 84.

  • Three Utah County women, two ages 65 to 84 and one older than 85.

  • Two Washington County women, one age 65 to 84 and the other older than 85.

Hospitalizations held steady Tuesday, with 544 Utah patients concurrently admitted, UDOH reported.

In total, 10,218 patients have been hospitalized in Utah for COVID-19, up 116 from Monday.

But the percentage of tests with positive results continued to rise Tuesday, with 23.7% of all tests coming back positive in the past week — a rate that suggests a large number of infected people are not being tested, state officials have said.

There were 8,360 new test results reported Tuesday, below the weeklong average of about 11,200 new tests per day.

Central Utah still was reporting the state’s highest infection rates per capita. In Sanpete County, more than 1 in 46 residents had tested positive for the virus in the past two weeks — meaning their cases are considered “active.” That figure rises to 1 in 36 within the towns of the Sanpete Valley.

And in Millard County, 1 in every 51 residents were diagnosed with active cases, with 1 in 47 in the Delta-Fillmore area.

Rates also remained exceptionally high in southwest Utah, with 1 in 61 Beaver County residents and 1 in 74 Washington County residents diagnosed with active infections.

Locally, more than 1 in 70 residents had active infections in nine of the Utah’s 99 “small areas,” used by state officials to study health trends.

Apart from those in Sanpete and Millard counties, they are: Lehi; northern Orem; Eagle Mountain and the Cedar Valley; Herriman; Saratoga Springs; Washington City; and Draper. Three other communities reported more than 1 in 75 residents had active infections: Salem; Hurricane and La Verkin; and St. George.

Comments:  (0)