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The sustained rise in coronavirus cases in Utah continued on Saturday, as health officials reported hospitalizations due to the virus reached record levels again, with 298 patients receiving acute care.
The previous high was recorded on Friday, when 290 patients were hospitalized. A total of 4,610 people have been hospitalized since the start of the pandemic.
In total, the state reported that there were 93,297 positive cases of the virus in Utah, an increase of 1,340 from Friday. There were also three new deaths, bringing the total number of people who died from the virus to 540.
- Davis County man over 85 who was not in hospital at the time of his death
- Salt Lake County woman, over 85, living in long-term care facility
- A 65-84-year-old Carbon County man who was hospitalized at the time of his death
The peak in cases is “unsustainable,” Gov. Gary Herbert said in a statement with Friday’s coronavirus report. And he urged Utahns, once again, to wear masks, socially distress and limit the size of social gatherings.
“Unless we do these things, we can expect to see more serious days,” he said.
Jess Gomez, a spokesperson for Intermountain Health Care, said on Saturday that the hospital is also seeing high usage of its intensive care unit beds, which treat both COVID patients as well as a large number of non-COVID patients who are in intensive care for a variety of conditions. “
“We’re approaching capacity, but we’re just not there yet. But it’s getting very close, ”he says.
As hospitalizations reach record highs, Gomez said the healthcare provider is calling on the community to “stand by our side” and do their part to prevent hospitals from becoming overrun with patients.
“Now more than ever, we really need people to step up and do all they can to reduce transmissions,” he said. “We keep saying the same things, but they are critically important and unfortunately they are not universally used.”
If people follow public health guidelines, he said, “we can do it.”
But at this point, Gomez said that “the consequences are falling on our healthcare community which is struggling to keep up with people who need hospital care for COVID and other issues. “
The state health department reported that of the 298 people currently hospitalized, 96 are using intensive care unit beds. Utah intensive care unit beds were 75% occupied on Saturday.
There were 9,142 new test results reported on Saturday, with the statewide positive rate remaining between 13% and 14%, which state officials say indicates there are many more sick people than people tested. Saturday, it was at 14%.
Over the past week, the Utah Department of Health recorded an average of 1,236 new positive test results per day, continuing a series of new records.
This story will be updated.