Utah Announces Likelihood that Growing Number of Infected Patients are Not Being Tested

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department reported 19 new cases and no new deaths on Wednesday, bringing the count to a total of 726 reported cases in Iron County.

Of the 19 deaths, one less than what was reported on Tuesday, three new cases have been attributed to Iron County. The majority of cases have come from Washington County, with 15 new cases from the area. 

Kane and Beaver County report no new cases, leaving the remaining new case to be from Garfield County, according to SWUPHD. 

The Utah Department of Health announced 877 new reported COVID-19 cases in the state on Wednesday, Sept. 22. 

With positive COVID-19 tests on the rise, health officials have said this suggests that, “An increasing number of infections are going undetected,” according to the Salt Lake Tribune. 

State Epidemiologist Angela Dunn agrees that it is more likely that a growing number of infected patients are not being tested. 

Dunn said that a 3% positivity rate would “indicate the virus is under control,” a percentage that is far lower than Utah’s rate of 14.2% reported on Wednesday.

The per-day average of positive test results has also increased from 857 cases reported Tuesday to 876 new positive test results and is still on the rise, a drastic difference to the 671 week-long average cases that were reported in July. 

With the change in Utah County from yellow to orange in the color restriction level, Gov. Herbert is hoping that the mask mandate going into effect at midnight on Wednesday will help to change the week-long average of new cases from the current 876 to the goal of 400 new cases per day. 

A fatality from Salt Lake County has been reported. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the 85-year-old woman was not hospitalized when she died. 

Even with the new fatality, the coronavirus death rate is 0.7%, staying under Gov. Herbert’s plan of a 1% mortality rate, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

The SWUPHD also announced that with the number moving from 10 to 8 citizens currently hospitalized and no new deaths, two more people have been released from the hospital and are on the mend.


Story by: Elizabeth Armstrong