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Friday's coronavirus numbers in Utah released by health department

Four more deaths, 170 more confirmed cases
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Posted at 1:38 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 17:23:00-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Health Department released the latest numbers regarding the coronavirus in the state Friday.

There have been four new deaths, bringing the total to 39.

170 more people have confirmed cases of COVID-19. That brings the total to 3,782.

There have been 14 new hospitalizations, bringing the total to 315 since the beginning of the outbreak.

In all, 84,697 people have now been tested for COVID-19 in Utah, that's up 4,070 from Thursday's 80,627 tested.

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During the state's daily media briefing, State Epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn highlighted some "promising trends" seen in Summit County, which was the first coronavirus "hotspot" in the state. She said since implementing public health orders, increased testing and other efforts, they have seen the curve flattening. There has been a steady decline of new cases in the county since April 2.

Dunn also said that as part of the state's newly appointed multicultural task force effort, free testing will be available at Utah Partners for Health in Midvale.

She addressed the question on "herd immunity" — when there are enough people immune to the virus in order to protect those who are not. To achieve that, Dunn says 60-80 percent of people would need immunity to achieve that, which would likely not come without a vaccine, which is estimated 12-18 months away.

Gov. Gary Herbert announced that if current trends continue, by the end of next week (May 1) he plans to downgrade the risk level of the outbreak from "red" (high risk) to "orange" (moderate risk) in much of the state, although he said some areas may have different levels.

Herbert says this will be based on solid data, not politics or anything else.

With the change, he says it will be less about what Utahn's cannot do, and more about what they can do. This may include things such as restaurants opening for dine-in, local, state and national parks possibly reopening, and various other recreation areas to open as well. He will announce more specific plans next week.

The governor then spoke on the state's puchase of hyrdoxychloroquine from the federal government that caused some public controversy.

Watch the full press conference below: