NewsLocal News


Despite less testing, COVID-19 cases on the rise in Utah

Posted at 5:11 PM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 19:15:29-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Utah, but doctors say there’s not nearly as much testing.

“Well, we’re all sick of COVID, that’s the reality, we are all tired of COVID," said Dr. Brandon Webb, Intermountain Healthcare infectious diseases physician. "I think we need to find a healthy balance between having it in our faces constantly and becoming apathetic, giving up, because there are certainly individuals in our community who are suffering now from COVID or from the consequences of earlier COVID.”

Dr. Webb explained Utah is following a pattern they’re seeing across the U.S., and like with other surges, Utah is a few weeks behind the coasts.

“We are seeing an increase in cases although there’s a significant undercount, there’s not nearly as much testing,” said Webb.

Dr. Webb said there are significantly more cases in the community than are being recorded, but many of the cases are mild.

Many people seem to be tuning out the word "Coronavirus," which is understandable after over two years of pandemic fatigue.

However, with the shift to a steady state strategy here in Utah, individuals need to understand their own risks for themselves and those around them.

“The majority of cases are mild and again that’s that decoupling effect that we’re seeing during the omicron and sub-variant surges, whereas immunity levels on an individual and community level increase, the number of mild infections also increase,” said Dr. Webb.

Doctors are seeing a lot of people with long haul symptoms, another reason to still avoid getting COVID-19, even if you expect it to be a mild case. The long-term effects are unpredictable.

“We are seeing a lot of post-acute COVID symptoms and we are getting more data now that being vaccinated actually prevents those long-haul symptoms in individuals,” said Dr. Webb.

Experts say this summer will be a great time to optimize your vaccination status, like getting another booster.

Dr. Webb also adds that people should talk to their healthcare provider and make a plan that addresses how to prevent getting COVID-19 and assessing personal risks.