The Southwest Utah Public Health Department reported 54 new cases of COVID-19 in the region, bringing the total to 4,408. Of these, there were a reported 13 new cases in Iron County, bringing the county total to 782 on Friday.
Six members of the Southern Utah University community self-reported a positive test result during the week of Sept. 24-30.
Meanwhile Utah’s statewide numbers had an increase of 99 cases compared to Thursday, with 1,107 new cases reported Friday. There were 9,365 test results reported with 11% receiving a positive result.
The state death toll made a dramatic leap setting a single day record of 15. This comes after investigators linked deaths in the past several months to the virus.
Six of the 15 newly reported COVID-19 deaths occurred in July (2), August (2) and September (2). This update brings the state death toll to 474.
Newly reported deaths included three in Utah County, five in Salt Lake County, two inTooele county, two in Davis County, one in Sanpete County, one in Weber County and one in Washington County.
”The deaths we report on a daily basis often occur several days, or even weeks, prior to our reporting them publicly,” the Utah Department of Health wrote about the late death reports.
The UDOH noted that the lag in reporting is due to the amount of time it takes to receive information from hospitals, long-term care facilities and funeral homes and to initiate and carry out an investigation by the Office of the Medical Examiner.
The increase in state deaths comes after an early Friday announcement by President Donald Trump that he and the first lady, Melania Trump, had tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the White House, President Trump was showing mild cold-like symptoms of the virus Friday.
Speculation on the impact of the president’s diagnosis on reelection is vast and will likely continue throughout his 14-day quarantine.
Despite the dramatic increase in reported deaths, the state’s death rate of confirmed cases is still well below Gov. Gary Herbert’s 1% goal, resting at 0.63%.
Story by: Mikyla Bagley
Photos Courtesy of SUU Journal Archives