SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Health on Wednesday reported 3,303 new COVID cases and seven more deaths since the day before.
This is the highest single-day total of new cases since January.
"Today we are reporting a very high number of COVID-19 cases. This large number is likely the result of a combination of the Omicron variant and holiday events," the health department said in a statement. "These cases affect ALL Utah residents. We need the help of all Utahns to minimize the disruptions of this virus in our communities. If you feel sick, stay home, and get tested. If you attend a large indoor gathering, we recommend wearing a mask to protect you and those around you. If you have delayed getting your booster or your first vaccine dose, now is the time to get that shot. To schedule an appointment for a vaccine or a booster."
“Clearly this infection is coming fast and hard at us and we’ve got to be prepared,” said Dr. Russell Vinik, chief medical operations officer at University of Utah Health. “Last Monday throughout our testing centers, we saw 33 positive cases. This Monday, we saw 135 positive cases.”
As of right now, hospitalizations are not as high as they were at the start of 2021. However, Dr. Vinik fears they’ll soon start to rise.
“Even though the omicron does not appear to cause as severe a disease as previous variants, the sheer number of infections ultimately lead to hospitalizations,” said Vinik.
Only two counties in Utah don’t fall in the “very high rate” category – Carbon and Rich counties.
Bradon Bradford with the Southeast Utah Health Department said Carbon County was hit hard by COVID-19 cases in the fall, and that may be why they’re not part of the current surge.
“It’s only in the past two weeks that we have seen a huge dropoff in cases,” said Bradford.
He worries rural counties tend to see trends weeks after large counties do. That’s why he’s advising everyone statewide to mask up, get your shot, and stay home if you’re sick.
“A lot of these messages we’re just so tired of hearing, we need to reinvest in so to speak,” he said. “So that on an individual level we’re accountable for our actions.”
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School-aged children accounted for 333 of the newly announced cases.
- 120 cases in children ages 5-10
- 59 cases in children ages 11-13
- 154 cases in children ages 14-17
Additionally, 12,077 doses of vaccine have been administered statewide since Tuesday.
The rolling 7-day average for positive tests is 1,571 per day. The rolling 7-day average for percent positivity of "people over people" is 12%. The rolling 7-day average for percent positivity of "tests over tests" is 8.2%.
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The health department reported there are 442 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Utah.
Case statistics for the seven newly announced deaths are as follows:
- Female, between 65-84, Utah County resident, hospitalized at time of death
- Male, between 65-84, Salt Lake County resident, hospitalized at time of death
- Male, between 45-64, Tooele County resident, unknown if hospitalized at time of death
- Female, between 65-84, Tooele County resident, hospitalized at time of death
- Female, between 65-84, Salt Lake County resident, long-term care facility resident
- Female, between 65-84, Utah County resident, unknown if hospitalized at time of death
- Male, older than 85, Weber County resident, hospitalized at time of death