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In-Depth: COVID-19 in Utah in 2020 vs. 2021

Posted at 10:18 PM, Dec 31, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lost more than 2,200 lives to COVID-19 this year and 1,569 last year. But year-to-year comparisons fall short because COVID came to Utah two months into 2020. So we broke the numbers down in ways that show the strange fluctuations of the pandemic.

An astonishing similarity in the average number of cases per day in the pandemic. In 2020, the daily average was 968.5. The average was 968.7 in 2021.

We broke down COVID cases by quarter — three-month periods.

The traumatic months of shutdown and job loss were the months with the fewest cases — almost 24,000 in Utah from April to June 2020.

In 2020, the last quarter surge was monumental — four times the previous quarter — with over 212,000 cases.

2021 showed high case numbers in all quarters but April through June.

The average number of deaths from COVID each day had some disparity. It was 5.2 in 2020 and 6.1 in 2021.

Looking at three-month quarters in terms of deaths, in both years, the best months were April-June and the worst were October-December.

Here's the most surprising comparison: In 2021, a much higher percentage of ICU beds held COVID patients. Going from an average of 19 percent in 2020 to 26 percent in 2021, meaning ICUs have experienced their peak COVID numbers in the quarter just ending (October-December of 2021).