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This week, Utah reported more than 5,000 new coronavirus cases, more than 100 new hospitalizations and a dozen other deaths — including a girl between the ages of 1 and 14.
The Department of Health said it had no further information about her death.
Last week, state health officials and doctors told reporters that Utah is in the midst of a coronavirus surge and will likely see rising case numbers and other metrics for several more weeks. dr Intermountain’s Brandon Webb said high positivity rates indicated the case numbers were “significantly under-counting”.
Experts say Omicron subvariants are driving the current surge. In the past seven days, the state reported 5,611 new coronavirus cases, compared to 4,504 last Thursday. The state’s seven-day average of new cases rose to 805.3 from 641.4.
State officials are scouting less for new cases to track the spread of COVID-19 as fewer people are being tested since the state has closed most of its free testing facilities. In the past seven days, 24,075 people have been tested, depressed from 25,824 test the week before. The weekly rate of positive tests increased from 15.23% to 18.07%
Instead, experts are looking at other metrics, such as hospitalizations and emergency room visits, to assess the severity of coronavirus outbreaks. Government data shows an increase in hospital admissions — including patients admitted to intensive care units — and emergency room visits.
Officials are urging those who have tested positive or have COVID-19 symptoms to stay home to avoid infecting others. Isolation guidance is available at coronavirus.utah.gov/protect-youself.
They also urge Utahns to keep up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, which can prevent serious illnesses.
COVID-19 hospitalization rates
Data shows coronavirus patients accounted for 2.8% of emergency department visits in the past week, compared to 2.3% the previous week.
As of last week, 139 more Utahns have been hospitalized with coronavirus, bringing the total to 34,734 patients hospitalized since the pandemic began. As of Thursday, there were 104 COVID-19 patients in Utah hospitals, down 14 from last week.
The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units increased by two to 20.
The state reported that 22,280 more Utahns have received a COVID-19 vaccine since May 19, the last time it released data. Of these, 2,392 are now fully vaccinated, meaning they have received two doses of an mRNA series vaccine such as Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, or one dose of the Janssen vaccine.
About 62.3% of Utahns — 2,023,383 in total — are fully vaccinated, and 28.7% have received a booster shot, the data shows.
Breakdown of updated figures
Vaccine doses administered in the past week/total doses administered • 22,280 /5,178,545.
Number of fully vaccinated Utahans • 2,023,383 – 62.3% of the total Utah population.
Cases reported in the past week: 5.611.
Average cases per day reported in the past week • 805.3
Reported tests from May 19th to May 26th • 24,075.
Deaths reported in the past week • 12.
Salt Lake County reported seven deaths: one woman, ages 25 to 44; two men and two women aged 65-84; and a man and a woman 85 or older.
A Utah County girl, ages 1 to 14, died, as did a San Juan County woman, ages 25 to 44.
Washington and Davis counties each reported the death of a woman between the ages of 65 and 84, and Tooele County reported the death of a woman aged 85 or older.
Hospital admissions reported this week • 104 on Thursday, down from 18 in the past week. There were 20 in intensive care, two more than reported last week.
Percentage of positive tests • Taking into account all test results, including repeat tests by the same person, the rate this week was 18.07%. That’s higher than the previous seven-day moving average of 15.23%.
Excluding one person’s repeat test results, the rate this week was 22.32%, up from the previous seven-day average of 18.89%.
Totals to date • 948,979 cases; 4,777 deaths; 34,734 hospitalizations.