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COVID-19 case counts down significantly in most of Utah

Posted at 5:41 PM, Dec 15, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has seen a significant decline in the number of newly confirmed COVID-19 infections in FOX 13's most recent analysis of the trends in every county.

That suggests overworked doctors and nurses may start to see declining numbers in intensive care units and emergency rooms.

READ: First COVID-19 vaccines in Utah given to hospital workers

Data shows 97 percent of Utahns, more than 3.1 million, live in counties that saw fewer cases from December 8-14 compared to what they did from December 1-7. All of Utah’s largest counties saw numbers drop between 11 and 25 percent, while a few dropped even more.

More data shows Utahns did not go on a super-spreading spree over the Thanksgiving holiday. That was the nightmare scenario for health care workers who have been staffing ICUs at over 90 percent occupancy from an early November surge.

That surge prompted a more stringent statewide mask and distancing mandate from Gov. Gary Herbert and the Utah Department of Health.

WATCH: Vaccine's arrival doesn't mean pandemic is over, Utah doctors remind public

That November surge is now taking its toll, with Utah experiencing a seven day rolling average of 15 deaths a day as of Tuesday. That number reached 16.6 on Sunday.

Still, Utah’s healthy, young population is holding up better than people in neighboring states. Arizona’s mortality rate is 1.5 times higher than Utah’s. Every other surrounding state has a mortality rate at least double what Utah is experiencing, according to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control.

The CDC numbers also show that Utah’s case rate is higher than most other states and is on a par with neighboring states.