SALT LAKE CITY – Utah has reached the COVID-19 pandemic playoffs.
The state crossed the threshold in the three polls outlined in Utah HB294, also known as the pandemic “endgame” proposal, Tuesday afternoon, according to health officials.
That means most state and local health orders end Tuesday. The bill requires that most of these health orders end on the day that Utah’s 14-day case rate is less than 191 per day. 100,000 people, the seven-day average of COVID-19 intensive care unit use is below 15% and 1,633,000 primary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are allocated to the state.
The Utah Department of Health announced Tuesday that the state has reached the benchmark in all three of those measurements. Utah̵
“I understand that HB294 has been controversial. Important, legitimate arguments have been made on all sides of the issue,” Health Department Director Rich Saunders said in a letter to Utah lawmakers Tuesday. “But today it should give us all reason to celebrate. No matter which side anyone falls on, we can all be proud of the results we have achieved so far.”
We have formally notified the Utah State Legislature that Utah per. Today has met all three # COVID19 threshold criteria set out in House Bill 294. For more details: https://t.co/3KywiBeBQ9
– Utah Dept. of Health (@UtahDepOfHealth) May 4, 2021
Although most health orders end, the bill allows the health department’s orders regarding Utah’s K-12 schools to continue. The mask mandate for K-12 schools continues until June 1 or the last day of school, whichever comes first, according to the health department.
“It is important not to give up the reason we have won, especially in our schools,” Saunders said. “We ask teachers, administrators, parents and students to hang in there and end the year on a healthy note.”
New cases of COVID-19
On Tuesday, Utah’s COVID-19 cases rose by 259, with 13 more deaths and 19,965 vaccinations reported, according to the Utah Department of Health.
Ten of the deaths reported on Tuesday occurred before April 1, but were still being investigated, according to the health department.
There are now an estimated 8,158 active COVID-19 cases in Utah, the Department of Health reported. The seven-day average number of positive cases per Day is now at 358 according to the health department. The positive test rate per Day for the time period calculated using the “people over people” method is now 6.5%. The positive test rate per Day for the time period calculated by the “test over test” method is now 3.4%.
There are 143 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah, including 54 in intensive care, state data shows. Approximately 68% of the beds for intensive care units in Utah are occupied as of Tuesday, including approx. 71% of ICU beds in the state’s 16 referral hospitals. About 49% of non-ICU hospital beds are now admitted to the state, the health department reports.
A total of 2,204,824 vaccine doses have been administered in the state, up from 2,184,859 on Monday. A total of 1,320,344 Utahns have now received at least a first dose of vaccine, and 973,629 are fully vaccinated. A total of 2,558,940 vaccine doses have been sent to Utah so far.
About 41.2% of all Utahns have now received at least one vaccine dose, and 30.4% are fully vaccinated. Among Utahns aged 16 or over who are currently eligible for the vaccine, 55.5% have had at least one dose and 40.9% are fully vaccinated according to state data.
The new figures indicate a 0.07% increase in positive cases since Monday. Of the 2,574,992 people tested so far for COVID-19 in Utah, 15.5% have tested positive for COVID-19. The number of total tests conducted in Utah since the pandemic began is now at 4,678,269, an increase of 10,114 since Monday. Of these, 4,059 were tests of humans who had not previously been tested for COVID-19, according to the health department.
The 13 deaths reported Tuesday were:
- A woman in Box Elder County who was between 45 and 64 years old and was hospitalized when she died
- A man in Cache County who was between 45 and 64 years old and was not hospitalized when he died
- A woman in Cache County who was between 65 and 84 years old and was hospitalized when she died
- A man in Carbon County who was between 25 and 44 years old and was not hospitalized when he died
- A Salt Lake County man who was over 85 and was not hospitalized when he died
- A Salt Lake County man who was between 25 and 44 years old and was hospitalized when he died
- A Salt Lake County man who was between 45 and 64 years old and was not hospitalized when he died
- Two men in Salt Lake County who were between the ages of 65 and 84 and were not hospitalized when they died
- A woman in Salt Lake County who was between 25 and 44 years old and was not hospitalized when she died
- A woman in Uintah County who was between 25 and 44 years old and was hospitalized when she died
- A Washington County man who was between 65 and 84 years old and was not hospitalized when he died
- A Weber County man who was over 85 and was hospitalized when he died
Tuesday’s total gives Utah 398,499 total confirmed cases with a total of 16,258 hospitalizations and 2,217 total deaths due to the disease. An estimated 388,124 Utah COVID-19 cases are now considered recovered.
Government of Utah, Spencer Cox, weekly COVID-19 press conference scheduled for Thursday at. 11, according to his office.
Singer Alex Boyé is reunited with the COVID-19 victim
Also on Thursday, singer Alex Boyé reunited with a COVID-19 victim he sang for last year while she was hospitalized with the disease.
Ana Lucio was discharged from MountainStar Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful in May 2020 after spending over two months hospitalized on COVID-19. She was the hospital’s longest recording of COVID-19, according to a press release from MountainStar.
A competition from Boyé in May 2020 in the hospital car park was the first time Lucio had been outside since he was admitted to the hospital.
“I remember I had such strong feelings the day of last year’s concert,” Lucio said in the press release through a translator. “I feel it is important to share hope with the world, especially in these times when many people can easily feel depressed or depressed. I am so grateful to everyone who cared for me during my stay in the hospital.”
Boyé once again performed a concert for the hospital staff and patients on Tuesday to mark the anniversary of his first show at the hospital.
“I just want to bring some music, bring some laughter, bring some fun,” Boyé said in an interview Tuesday. “I know how important it is in my life, and hopefully I can do it for other people. So I’m excited about it.”
Lucio is still recovering from the disease, but is at about 80 percent health now, the release said.
In an interview Tuesday, Lucio said she saw that Boyé and his wife were motivated to spread some hope early in the pandemic, so he came to sing in the hospital to spread some joy. She said she also wants to be a message of hope.
Boyé said he remembered seeing doctors and nurses last year whose faces were “raw and red” from the masks they wore.
“For me, it just spoke volumes to me about how important it is, and the hard work that doctors and nurses put in, they probably even work twice as hard,” he said.
Boyé said he lost 170 performances during the pandemic when the events were canceled, but in the past two weeks, his leaders have been inundated with calls.
As more and more people are vaccinated against COVID-19, spring has brought a sense of hope and new beginnings, the singer said.
“You can feel it in the air,” Boyé said.
Contribution: Paul Nelson, KSL NewsRadio; Aubrey Shafer, KSL TV