Utah coronavirus cases continue to fall, but deaths on the rise

There has been an increase of more than 20 deaths due to COVID-19 in the past week.

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) Students line up for COVID-19 tests as they return to Highland High School in Salt Lake City on Monday, Feb. 8, 2021.

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While the number of daily coronavirus infections continues its downward trajectory, there is one trend that is moving in the opposite direction.

Deaths due to COVID-19 are up. There have been 83 new deaths over the past week compared to just 59 the week before.

Vaccinations administered in past day/total vaccinations • 14,243 / 716,536.

As vaccinations continue to ramp up across the country, Utah announced this week that it will receive the newly authorized Johnson & Johnson version Wednesday. That particular vaccine requires only one dose and can be stored more easily compared to the Pfizer and Moderna iterations, which require two doses.

“This is a testament to modern research, science, public health and medicine. We are in a race to save as many lives as possible through vaccines,” Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said in a statement Friday. “This vaccine will do that. Remember, all three vaccines are safe and effective. You can have confidence that any of them will protect you and those around you from COVID-19.”

And with vaccinations already open to a larger number of people with underlying health conditions, the state will rely on the honor system and not require Utahns to show proof they are eligible. Cox recently acknowledged that it’s possible that people might lie about having an underlying condition.

Number of Utahns who have received two doses • 254,569.

Cases reported in past day • 465.

Cases week over week continue to fall. Over the past seven days, the total number of new cases was 4,500. It stood at 5,441 a week prior. There were no days this past week where the daily number reached above 900.

Deaths reported in past day • Six — four men, two women.

Three of the men were from Summit County, Salt Lake County and Tooele County, respectively, and were all between ages 45 and 64; the fourth man was from Utah County and over age 85.

Both women were between ages 65 and 84. One was from Weber County, and the other was from Salt Lake County.

Hospitalizations reported in past day • 203. That’s down 20 from Saturday. Of those currently hospitalized, 84 are in intensive care units — five fewer than Saturday.

Tests reported in past day • 4,365 people were tested for the first time. A total of 8,422 people were tested.

Percentage of positive tests • Under the state’s original method, the rate is 10.7%. That’s lower than the seven-day average of 11.6%.

Utah’s new method counts all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual. Sunday’s rate is now at 5.5%, slightly higher than the seven-day average of 5.2%.

[Read more: Utah is changing how it measures the rate of positive COVID-19 tests. Here’s what that means.]

Totals to date • 371,235 cases; 1,935 deaths; 14,695 hospitalizations; 2,205,791 people tested.