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The rate of positive COVID-19 test results in Utah rose sharply Tuesday, reaching its highest level yet ̵
Statewide, Utah’s share of positive tests has been above 5% since May 25, according to data from the Utah Department of Health (UDOH). The previous high was 10.57 percent on July 19th.
With 562 new cases of coronavirus reported Tuesday, Utah’s rate of new diagnoses remained above the governor’s target of fewer than 400 cases a day.
In the last seven days, Utah has averaged 521 new positive test results a day, UDOH said. Gov. Gary Herbert had said he wanted the state to come under 400 new cases a day on Sept. 1, a goal Utah met in mid-August but surpassed again this month.
The virus continued to spread rapidly in Utah County, which registered 198 new cases Tuesday – the most of any county in the state. In the last seven days, Utah County has an average of 32 new cases per day per year. 100,000 people compared to an average of 16 across the state and 16 in Salt Lake County.
The ascent is concentrated around Provo, home of Brigham Young University. Provo has on average more than 70 new daily cases per. 100,000 inhabitants; State health officials have said that young adults of college age make up the majority of the county’s recent new cases. Highland and Mapleton have also shown sharp increases in the past week, according to county data. Utah County is at the “yellow” or low restriction level; Provo is under a mask order.
New cases have also risen sharply in northern Utah’s Bear River Health District, which includes Utah State University. The school has reported 143 new cases since the fall began, of which 21 yesterday. Its seven-day average for new cases more than doubled in less than two weeks, from six a day per year. 100,000 inhabitants on September 2 to 14 Tuesday.
Utah’s coronavirus death toll stood at 436 on Tuesday, the same as Monday.
There were 128 Utah patients admitted simultaneously, UDOH reported. On average, 124 patients have been treated in Utah hospitals each day over the past week – well below the highest average of 211 patients admitted each day in late July.
A total of 3,361 patients have been admitted to Utah Hospital for COVID-19, an increase of 23 from Monday.
3,930 new test results were reported on Tuesday, below the weekly average of 4,324 new tests per day. Test demand remains well below mid-July, with the state averaging more than 7,000 new test results a day.
Since public schools began opening on August 13, there have been 47 outbreaks in schools affecting 245 patients, with two new outbreaks and 30 new cases reported on the last day.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 290 patients infected in 58 outbreaks in the school with a median age of 16. Nine of these patients have been admitted; no one is dead.
Of the 59,000 Utahns who tested positive for COVID-19, 49,327 are considered “recovered” – ie. they have survived for at least three weeks after receiving the diagnosis.