Utah’s alarmingly high corona virus positive rates are rising again

Utah's alarmingly high corona virus positive rates are rising again

Utah’s alarmingly high corona virus positive rates are rising again

(Rick Egan | Salt Lake Tribune) Christy Danielson examines Covid-19 patients at Intermountain Healthcare Cottonwood Instacare on Friday, December 4, 2020.

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Utah set another record on Monday with a corona virus test rate of 27.1 percent last week – indicating that many infected people are not being tested and that the virus is spreading unknowingly.

With 2,231 new coronavirus cases reported on Monday, Utah’s new diagnostic rate continues to rise.

Over the past week, the state has had an average of 3,125 new positive test results a day, up from 2,300 daily cases a week ago, the Utah Department of Health reported. 7,551 new test results were reported Monday, compared to the weekly average of 13,000 new tests.

The high average rate of positive tests “may be an indication that there are a lot of cases going on that we don’t know about,” said Tom Hudacho, a spokesman for the state Department of Health. “Usually a high percentage of positivity indicates that we are not catching all the positive cases.”

The seven-day average rate on November 16 was 24.6 percent. Since then, on November 27, the average rate has dropped to 21.3 percent, “which is in line with the drop in cases,” Hudacho said.

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After that, the seven-day average of positive rates and case numbers rose again.

Utah’s death toll from the corona virus rose to 949 on Monday, with 10 deaths reported since Sunday:

  • Two are Salt Lake County women, one aged 65 to 84 and the other 85 and over.

  • Someone over the age of 85 from Salt Lake County.

  • A man from Sanpet County, aged 65 to 84.

  • A woman in Utah County, aged 65 to 84.

  • A Utah County man, aged 65 to 84.

  • A Weber County woman, ages 65 to 84.

  • Someone in Weber County, ages 65 to 84.

  • A woman in Washington County, aged 65 to 84.

  • Someone in Washington County, ages 65 to 84.

Admission to the hospital was constant, with 582 Utah patients admitted simultaneously – the UHA reported that the number of hospital admissions on Sunday was slightly lower but continued to rise on a weekly average.

The intensive care units at major hospitals in Utah were about 91% full, accepting the majority of COVID-19 patients with serious illness in the state.

However, doctors and hospital administrators said they did not take into account staff fluctuations as doctors and nurses were forced to ship. This will not lead to the need for specialists and equipment specifically for coronavirus patients, who now play an unprecedented role in ICU patients.

Doctors said that if more than 85 per cent of the ICUs are in place, the quality of care will decline as those resources become overcrowded.

Since last Wednesday, ICU beds across the state have been more than 85 percent full. In large, “referral” hospitals, ICUs are 85% full every day except two from November 11th.

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A total of 8,896 Utahs were hospitalized in Utah for COVID-19, up from 761 last week alone.

– Reporter Sean P. Means contributed to this story.

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