Governor Herbert provides update on Utah’s COVID-19 as state sees 3,945 new cases, 11 deaths

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SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said Thursday he was not surprised to see an increase in COVID-19 cases after the Thanksgiving vacation.

The Utah Department of Health reported 3,945 new cases Thursday and 11 more deaths.

After a short plateau just before the holidays, where Utah saw several days with fewer than 2,000 new cases, the past two days have each brought about 4,000 new cases to Utah.

“We’re going to see that number (of cases) increase, hopefully not too dramatically,” Herbert said at Thursday’s press conference.

The governor urged people to continue to be cautious and limit social gatherings to stop the spread of the virus. A two-week health order issued by Herbert before Thanksgiving limited home gatherings to only people living in the same household. It worked and people became more aware of how social gatherings can spread the virus, Herbert said.

When the order expired on November 23, most aspects of the order were maintained, but state officials lifted the regulations on home gatherings, making recommendations for these gatherings instead of the warrants of the government. On Thursday, Herbert said public health officials know cases decrease when social gatherings are limited and increase when not limited.

However, he did not indicate that he intended to reinstate such limitations before Christmas, saying they would not be enforceable and would be government overbroad.

“It’s a bridge too far away for me to say ‘let’s look at what you’re doing inside your house,’” Herbert said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the next 45 to 60 days could be the worst in the pandemic to date, according to Herbert. With the colder weather and another big party coming up, more people will likely gather inside.

Despite the recent surge, Herbert remained optimistic that the end of the pandemic is near.

“We’re going to go through this together,” he said. “2021 will be a good year. ”


Utah Governor Gary Herbert spoke at a press conference Thursday morning. Utah Department of Health state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn also spoke at the event. Watch the replay below.


New COVID-19 cases

The state now estimates that there are 62,309 active cases of COVID-19 in Utah. The seven-day rolling average number of positive COVID-19 cases per day is now 2,627, according to the health department. The positive test rate per day during this period is now 24.2%.

Department of Health epidemiologist Dr Angela Dunn noted that the state’s average seven-day positive test rate dropped to around 21% earlier this week, but has now risen to 24 , 2%. This indicates that another increase in cases is likely imminent, she said.

Thursday’s COVID-19 totals give Utah 206,165 total confirmed cases, with 8,548 total hospitalizations and 917 total deaths from the disease since the start of the pandemic.

The new figures indicate a 2% increase in positive cases since Wednesday. Of the 1,454,844 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 14.2% have tested positive for the disease.

There are 597 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah, according to state data. Of those, 209 are in intensive care units, according to state data. About 86% of all intensive care beds in Utah are occupied Thursday, including nearly 89% of the intensive care beds at referral hospitals in Utah, which are the 16 health facilities capable of providing the better care for COVID-19.

About 57% of non-ICU hospital beds are occupied in Utah Thursday, according to state data.

“Hospitals can only accommodate a limited number of us,” Herbert said.

Governor Gary Herbert speaks during a press briefing on COVID-19 at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, December 3, 2020 (Photo: Kristin Murphy, KSL)

The 11 deaths reported Thursday were:

  • A man from Carbon County who was between 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died
  • Salt Lake County man who was over 85 and was hospitalized when he died
  • Two men from Salt Lake County aged 65 to 84 who were not hospitalized when they died
  • Two men from Salt Lake County, aged 65 to 84, hospitalized when they die
  • Utah County man aged 65 to 84 who was not hospitalized when he died
  • Utah County man aged 45 to 64 living in long-term care facility
  • Weber County man over 85 living in long-term care facility
  • Washington County woman aged 65 to 84 who was not hospitalized when she died
  • Weber County woman, 45 to 64, resident in long-term care facility

A total of 142,939 cases of COVID-19 in Utah are now considered recovered, according to state data.

Utah’s health board levels for the various counties in the state remained the same as last week. Daggett, Piute and Rich counties are considered to be at a low level of COVID-19 transmission, while all other counties in Utah are at the high level of transmission.

The transmission index system was suspended during the two-week “hard reset” health order from November 9 to 23, but resumed last week.

On Thursday, Dunn announced that Utah had changed quarantine guidelines for people exposed to COVID-19, according to the CDC.

People will now be able to quarantine for 10 days instead of 14. Additionally, if they are tested on the seventh day and return a negative result, and have no symptoms of COVID-19, they can end their quarantine, Dunn said.

Dunn said that even though vaccines are expected to start distributing later this month, people will have to continue to wear masks, socially distance and limit gatherings to those in their own households, even after the start of the season. administration of the vaccine.

“We really need to stay stable over the next few months,” she said.

State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn speaks during a press briefing on COVID-19 at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, December 3, 2020 (Photo: Kristin Murphy, KSL)

Healthcare workers are expected to start receiving the vaccine later this month in Utah. The CDC said the vaccine could become widely available by April, Dunn said, although local Utah health officials said June or July was a more likely timeframe for the state.

Herbert said he anticipates that everyone in Utah who wants a vaccine will be able to get one.

“There is help and hope along the way,” said Herbert. “Take responsibility, do your best, adapt, innovate and overcome, and we will do it together. ”

Methodology:

Test results now include data from PCR tests and antigen tests. Positive COVID-19 test results are reported to the health department immediately after confirmation, but negative test results may not be reported for 24 to 72 hours.

The total number of cases reported each day by the Utah Department of Health includes all COVID-19 cases since the start of the Utah epidemic, including those currently infected, those who have passed away. recovered from illness and those who died.

Cured cases are defined as anyone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 three or more weeks ago and who has not died.

The deaths reported by the state have generally occurred two to seven days before they are reported, according to the health department. Some deaths can be even more distant, especially if the person is from Utah but died in another state.

The health department is reporting deaths from confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases according to the case definition set by the State Council and territorial epidemiologists. The number of deaths may change as case investigations are completed.

For deaths reported as COVID-19 deaths, the person would not have died if they did not have COVID-19, according to the health department.

The data included in this story primarily reflects the state of Utah as a whole. For more localized data, visit your local health district website.

More information on Utah’s health counseling levels is available at coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-health-guidance-levels.

The information comes from the Utah Department of Health and coronavirus.utah.gov/case-counts. For more information on how the Utah Department of Health compiles and reports COVID-19 data, visit coronavirus.utah.gov/case-counts and scroll to the “Data Notes” section. ” at the bottom of the page.

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