Coronavirus in Utah: COVID-19 hospitals are at 101.3% ICU capacity

State health officials report 1,585 new cases Sunday, eight more deaths.

(Rick Bowmer | The Associated Press) James Lennox, IT technical support specialist for the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind, gets the COVID-19 vaccine at the Davis County Legacy Center Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, in Farmington, Utah. Utah began vaccinating teachers and school staff across the state. They are aiming to have all teachers and school staff vaccinated by the end of February.

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Among hospitals in Utah that specialize in COVID-19 — places like University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City and Intermountain Medical Center in Murray — there is normally a total of 453 intensive care unit beds available for patients.

Now, the 453 ICU beds at those referral centers are full — and then some. On Sunday, the Utah Department of Health reported that 458 ICU beds were occupied in the state, which means the places that specialize in treating the coronavirus are at 101.3% capacity.

The percentage of all ICU beds statewide is also at critical levels, sitting at 97.4%, or 515 out of 529 available as of Sunday’s data release.

On Saturday, Utah broke the record for the number of COVID-19 patients currently in ICUs with 231. That number dropped Sunday to 226. As a point of reference, the seven-day period ending Sunday began Jan. 11 with 188 COVID-19 patients.

Through Sunday, the state has administered 157,170 overall doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. That number includes the 142,368 Utahns who received their first doses, and the 14,802 Utahns who have gotten both doses.

The fact that the state reported 1,585 cases Sunday could be construed as good news. Over the past seven days, there have been 17,838 positive cases reported. Sunday’s 1,585 cases are the second-fewest reported during those seven days, which included 5,188 on Wednesday, and two other days that eclipsed 2,500.

Furthermore, 1,585 is the second-lowest positive-case figure dating back to late December.

The eight deaths reported Sunday are a portion of 101 tallied over the past seven days. Utah’s death toll stands at 1,493 since the pandemic began. Just as the case number is currently down, eight reported deaths in a day might be considered progress after the week saw a high of 27 deaths Wednesday.

Utah’s seven-day rolling average for positive tests is 2,209 per day, which brings the seven-day average for percentage of positive laboratory tests to 22.6%. That latter figure puts Utah inside the top five among all 50 states as of Sunday.

The 7,199 tests reported Sunday bring the total administered to 1,902,260.