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Young people urged to follow COVID-19 precautions as hospital admissions 'beginning to spill over’

Posted at 9:11 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 23:17:51-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A spike in COVID-19 cases in Utah is causing concern for health care providers, who say some hospitals are nearing capacity.

“There is no questions that our hospitalizations have increased in the last two weeks, in fact they have increased dramatically,” said Dr. Brandon Webb, an infectious disease specialist with Intermountain Healthcare.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 4,331 people in Utah have required hospitalization for COVID-19. Of those, 249 remain hospitalized, according to the Utah Department of Health's COVID-19 report for Monday.

Hospitalization numbers have been a concern since July’s spike, Dr. Webb said.

“What gives us concern is in July when we saw a surge, we were also operating in a different model where many people were not seeking health care for non-COVID reasons,” Webb said.

Although children and younger adults are reportedly at lower risk for severe disease or death from COVID-19, they should still take precautions to help protect the community and prevent the spread of the disease to high-risk populations, Webb told FOX 13.

“Most of the transmission is actually happening from close acquaintances and household members. It's not happening from strangers and big events,” Webb said.

Right now, people need to focus on safety measures such as mask wearing, physical distancing and good hygiene. While there are some new therapies and help for those already sick with COVID-19 there aren’t many treatment options before people get very ill, Webb said.

“We are still lagging behind in effective treatments that can be given early. Until we get more preventative therapies and early therapies, it highlights doing the simple things that we know work,” he said.

Local, state and hospital leaders are closely monitoring the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

“The number of admissions has filled up the cup and is brimming over and just starting to spill over the sides,” Dr. Webb said.

For the latest COVID-19 information in Utah, click here.