Three more Iron County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 while Utah hit an unwanted milestone Friday, surpassing 1,000 cases in a day for the first time.
The Utah Department of Health reported that another 1,117 Utahns tested positive for COVID-19. Friday’s total is the highest since the pandemic arrived in Utah in March and breaks the record for cases —911—set yesterday.
Southern Utah University reported that nine new students, faculty and staff informed the school that they’d received a positive COVID-19 test. Since Aug. 27, 26 people on campus have reported receiving a positive test.
The Southwest Utah Public Health Department reported 37 new cases of the virus Friday, as well as nine residents who are currently hospitalized.
The statewide spike comes tied to Utah County, where State Epidemiologist Angela Dunn brainstormed ideas for slowing the spread on a conference call with local leaders, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Dunn informed Utah County leaders that the positivity rate for COVID-19 tests in the county has reached 21%. That means one out of every five people tested for the coronavirus comes back with a positive result.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Utah County leaders discussed mounting “positive campaigns” to encourage Utah County residents — particularly students at Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University — to take steps to prevent spreading the virus.
As of Wednesday, BYU reports having 402 active cases of COVID-19 on campus and 690 cases in total. The school began its fall semester on Aug. 31 with a mixture of in-person and remote classes.
In a statement, Gov. Gary Herbert called Friday’s tally “alarming. … We are clearly in an upward trend of cases.”
The spiking numbers, Herbert said, “make me seriously question if these warnings and public education are enough.”
The state’s rolling seven-day average for new cases — the metric public-health officials use to gauge trends — is at 726 cases per day. The average for the seven days before that was 402 per day.
As of Friday, there were 131 people hospitalized in Utah with COVID-19, including 43 admitted since the previous day. Since the pandemic began, 3,444 Utahns have been hospitalized with COVID-19.
Story by: Connor Sanders
Photo by: SUU News