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Utah health officials urge vigilance despite drop in new virus cases

Posted at 10:34 PM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 00:34:22-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s COVID-19 case count continues to trend lower.

Monday, the Utah Department of Health reported 514 new cases of the virus. It is the lowest single-day case count since September.

“Anytime we have fewer than 1,000 cases, that’s amazing, and it’s been a long time since we have seen that,” said Jenny Johnson with UDOH. “If we can keep strong for several more months we will be right there at the end of this tunnel.”

The state’s 7-day rolling average of positive cases has also plummeted.

In early January, it reached its peak of 3,258. Currently, it stands at 1,133.

Unfortunately, the number of people getting tested is trending lower.

During the week of February 1, about 123,000 Utahns were tested for the virus.

The previous week, roughly 138,000 people were tested.

“If we have a really few number of people getting tested, that’s when we also start to worry,” Johnson said. “We are still very likely missing people who are COVID positive and spreading the disease.”

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The health department warns that lower case counts are not a reason to pull back on safety measures like mask-wearing and social distancing.

“That will buy us time to vaccinate more people in the community and in our population,” Johnson said. “Only all of that together that is going to help us get back to normal.”

With the highly transmissible COVID variant known to be in Utah, UDOH is urging people to remain vigilant.

“We know if they grab hold in a big segment of our population, they will spread quickly,” Johnson said. “We have to give ourselves a chance to get back to normal and end this pandemic using the tools we know work.”