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Utah health leaders, hospital systems address omicron case surge

Virus Outbreak Utah
Posted at 11:03 AM, Jan 06, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY — As COVID-19 cases surge to unprecedented levels in Utah, the state's health leaders are joining with local hospital systems Thursday to address the rise and how it is affecting caregivers.

Utah shattered the state's single-day case record Wednesday with 7,247 cases, nearly double the previous mark set in Dec. 2020. As cases rise, the burden continues to fall on hospitals who risk becoming overwhelmed with patients.

"We have the tools to combat omicron, but they don’t work if people won’t use them. If, for whatever reason, you have been putting off vaccination or getting boosted, it is clearly time for you to act," said Dr. Leisha Nolen, state epidemiologist at the Utah Department of Health. "Vaccinations and boosters have been shown to reduce cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. They are the most important thing you can do to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community.

“Our hospitals are already stretched well beyond their capacity and are canceling procedures. Please, go get your shot! Think about your plans and minimize your exposure to others and when you can’t, put on that mask!”

Discussing the surge in Utah on Thursday will be:

  • Greg Bell, president and CEO, Utah Hospital Association
  • Dr. Michelle Hofmann, deputy director, Utah Department of Health
  • Dr. Brandon Webb, Intermountain Healthcare infectious diseases physician & chair of Intermountain COVID Therapeutics Committee
  • Tracey Nixon, RN, chief nursing officer, University of Utah Health
  • Dr. Arlen Jarrett, chief medical officer, Steward Healthcare
  • Dr. Marion Bishop, emergency medicine physician, Brigham City Hospital and Cache Valley Hospital, MountainStar Healthcare