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Utah continues its sharp rise in coronavirus infections with another day of high positive tests for COVID-19.
After consecutive record days, 1,608 new infections were reported by the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) on Saturday as intensive care beds continued to fill with people falling ill and having trouble breathing.
Skyrocketing infection rates in Utah reflect national trends, particularly in the Intermountain West and the upper Midwest, where the disease appears to be spreading uncontrollably with the onset of cold weather and continued resistance. mask wearing, social distancing and other measures, virus experts say.
The last three days were the three days with the highest number of cases in Utah since the start of the pandemic. Friday’s tally of 1,960 was the worst and Saturday’s was the second worst.
Deaths from the coronavirus in Utah jumped to 568 on Saturday, including one reported since Friday. It was a Salt Lake County woman over 85 who was not hospitalized.
Hospitalizations declined slightly on Saturday, with 310 Utah patients currently admitted, UDOH reported. This is compared to 313 the day before. Since the onset of the pandemic in Utah, 103,117 people have tested positive and 4,997 Utahns have been hospitalized for COVID-19.
There were 10,069 new test results reported on Saturday.
Infection rates are now high enough in 21 of Utah’s 29 counties to trigger mandatory mask orders. Residents of these counties must wear masks when away from their immediate home, even when surrounded by family or friends. The social gathering cannot exceed 10 people.
Gov. Gary Herbert has repeatedly urged Utahns to wear masks, practice hand hygiene and engage in social distancing, but he has been reluctant to impose a statewide order of masks, which, according to him, would be difficult to apply and could be fought as an imposed government. mandate.
For last week, 16% of all tests came back positive, a new record. Health officials say such high positive test rates indicate that large numbers of those infected have not been tested. The seven-day moving average of positive tests is 1,396 per day.
Officials want Utah’s positive test rate to fall below 5%, a rate not seen since May 25, according to UDOH data.
The ongoing epidemic affects almost all parts of the state. Utah considers an area to have a “very high rate” of transmission if it has a 14-day case rate of 200 or more per 100,000 population. It’s as high as the Utah scale.
The entire state passes the 200 threshold, with the exception of a chunk of northern Washington County, where the rate is 197.
For the first time since the state began releasing a gender breakdown, more women than men have tested positive for the coronavirus. The change has come as more and more young people are catching the virus.
Men still far outweigh women between the ages of 25 and 44, largely due to workplace outbreaks in industries like construction. But more women test positive than men under 25 and over 65.