Utah health officials reported 572 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, the worst two-day period of new infections in the state since late July.
Like Friday, Saturday’s high number of cases was driven by a sharp increase among Utahns aged 15 to 24, who accounted for 245 cases. It was also prompted by an increase in infections in Salt Lake and Utah counties – both of which have recorded 205 new coronavirus diagnoses. As of Friday, Salt Lake County’s number of new cases had not exceeded 200 since mid-August, while Utah County is experiencing its biggest two-day increase in the entire pandemic.
Utah County is currently experiencing the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the state, apparently spurred on by Brigham Young University in Provo, where numerous new cases have been reported in recent days.
Over the past seven days, Utah has averaged 421 new positive test results per day, the Utah Department of Health reported. Gov. Gary Herbert had said he wanted the state to drop below 400 new cases per day by September 1, a benchmark that Utah met in mid-August but has still passed the last week.
The death toll from the coronavirus in Utah stood at 433 on Saturday, with two deaths reported since Friday. One was a man from Davis County, aged 65 to 84, who lived in a long-term care facility, while the other was a man from Salt Lake County, aged 45 to 64, who had been hospitalized.
Hospitalizations were down slightly from Friday, with 120 patients from Utah admitted simultaneously, UDOH reported. A total of 3,311 people have been hospitalized since the start of the epidemic, 23 more than the day before.
Utah has reported five other school outbreaks for a total of 50 since the start of the pandemic and 25 new cases related to those outbreaks, for a total of 226. There have been no new school-related hospitalizations . These are still new and no one linked to a school epidemic has died.