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Utah again recorded more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, but the infections did not quite break yesterday’s record.
The Utah Department of Health reported that the state had 1,077 new cases of people testing positive for the coronavirus, up from 1,117 on Friday. This marks the second day in a row, business has surpassed 1,000.
Three other people died from the virus, including a Salt Lake County woman aged 45 to 64, a Utah County woman aged 65 to 84 and a Washington County man aged 45 to 64. To date, 440 people in Utah have died from COVID-19.
As of Saturday, 137 people are currently hospitalized with the infection, an increase from the 131 reported the day before. Hospitalization rates have been on the rise since Tuesday. There are 49 people occupying intensive care beds, three fewer than on Friday. Almost 71% of the state’s intensive care beds are currently occupied.
The seven-day moving average of positive cases is 796 and the rate of people who test positive is 12.7%. The state reports that 8,213 people have received COVID-19 tests since yesterday.
The state has reported seven new outbreaks in K-12 schools and 54 more school-related cases, the most reported in a single day.
While outbreaks in high school and college-age adults have caused a recent increase in cases, infections appear to be spreading to older populations. In the last day, 396 cases were reported among 15-24 year olds, 300 cases among 25-44 year olds and another 219 among 45-64 year olds.
Data shows peaks in infections for all ages over the past few days except infants and those 85 and older.
To date, more than a third, or 36%, of all Utah cases have been in the 25-44 age group, followed by the 15-24 age group, which represents 26 % of cases. The 45 to 64 age group had 23% of cases. Children aged 14 and under and adults aged 65 to 84 each account for 7% of cases.
While cases have steadily increased in Utah County since the start of September, Salt Lake County has also seen a peak. As of September 17, the Salt Lake County Department of Health reported 393 new positive cases, just below its July 9 peak of 409. This is the third day in a row that the county has seen more than 300 case. Utah County reported 476 new cases as of September 17. Many other health districts in the state have seen an increase in the rate of infection in the past few days, including the health districts of Weber-Morgan, Davis, Bear River and southwestern Utah.
In response to the recent high number of cases, Gov. Gary Herbert announced on Saturday that he was renewing the state of emergency which was due to expire on the same day.
Under the state of emergency, Herbert also issued executive orders which, among other things, allow licensees of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to retain their licenses if they close for a certain period of time and suspend certain requirements for the use of telehealth and the rules that require that parole hearings be open to in-person participation.