Utah Sets 4th COVID-19 Case Record In The Past Nine Days
Utah health officials reported on Friday 1,411 new cases of COVID-19, breaking Thursday’s record for most cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic. But the state also set a new record for the number of tests in a single day, with 10,242.
“Today, we see yet another record setting day for COVID-19 in our state,” Utah’s Department of Health wrote in a statement. “For the first time, we've hit more than 10,000 tests reported in a 24-hour period. Testing is a critical component of our response and helps us understand the spread of the virus in our communities.”
There are currently more than 70 testing locations across the state, according to the department. And they encourage anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. Those symptoms range from fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches and pains, or a decrease in the sense of taste or smell.
Friday also marked the fourth time in the past eight days the state topped more than 1,000 new cases in a single day. Speaking on RadioWest, state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said that’s not sustainable.
“Our contact tracers, even though we have increased capacity, cannot keep up,” Dunn said. “Our goal is to contact everybody who has [come in contact with some who tested positive] within 24 hours of them having that test. And that's not a reasonable goal when you have 1,100-1,200 hundred cases a day statewide.”
The state’s rolling seven-day average for new cases continues to inch closer to a thousand and right now sits at 960 cases — also a record high for that metric. Officials also continue to point out new cases are primarily being driven “by an increase of cases among young people.”
“We expect these increases will also spill over to other age groups and the data indicates this is starting to happen,” officials warned. The department reported that as of Friday, 184 people were hospitalized due to the disease and 76 patients are in the ICU.
For the past week, the state’s positivity rate is 14%, which is well above the 5% that the department said indicates a flattening of the curve in the state.
In response to the growing number, UDOH launched a new public awareness campaign, Ronalert!, for 15-24-year-olds. It “encourages our young people to make choices that we know help stop the spread of COVID-19” according to the department, like wearing a mask, social distancing, hand washing and staying home when sick.