SALT LAKE CITY — Utah currently ranks among the top five worst states in the US when it comes to average daily COVID-19 case rates.
According to the newest data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Utah's average daily cases per 100,000 of 98.3 is fifth in the country.
Arizona is No. 1 on the list and is considered "the hottest hot spot" for the coronavirus, according to ABC News. Along with Rhode Island, Arizona has higher positive COVID-19 rates than any country in the world.
"Hey, Utah, we’re headed in the wrong direction." tweeted Intermountain Healthcare official Jess Gomez Sunday.
"We are very concerned," Dr. Todd Vento, Intermountain Healthcare infectious diseases physician, said.
“It is fairly much a certainty you should expect more ICU usage, more ventilators and more very sick patients,” he said.
On Sunday, the Utah Department of Health reported 2,276 new COVID-19 cases and two new deaths. Utah's rolling seven-day average of positive cases is now at 31.5%.
The reality of COVID-19 and its toll on America is very real, it’s just the facts, Dr. Vento said.
“400 thousand people that would not be dead if it weren’t for a single virus that we can’t even see,” he said.
As a community, Utahns need to take the precautions that have been reiterated time and time again since the pandemic began, Dr. Vento said.
“There is a reason it sounds like the same thing, we really mean it, we meant it for 11 months and we mean it really now and we are really going to need the help of every single individual,” he said.
Wearing a mask is the best defense for the general public against COVID-19, Dr. Vento said.
“It should look unnatural to us, a year into a respiratory virus public health emergency throughout the world, it should look unusual not to have a mask on, he said.
A new study by the CDC shows asymptomatic people spread about 60 percent of COVID-19 cases. This means everyone should assume they have a high risk of COVID-19 and avoid gatherings, wear masks, and practice proper hygiene, Dr. Vento said.