The Southwest Utah Public Health Department reported five new cases of COVID-19 in Iron County Wednesday as the rate of new diagnoses in Utah continues to rise.
Another 1,007 Utahns tested positive for the coronavirus. The state’s seven-day average of 1,044 new infections per day is the highest recorded since the pandemic began.
There were eight new fatalities reported across the state, including one resident of a female care center in Washington County who was over the age of 85.
Statewide hospitalizations are also at a record high. The Utah Department of Health reported 226 patients were in the hospital being treated for COVID-19.
Across the five counties in SWUPHD’s jurisdiction there are 17 people currently hospitalized, an increase of 11 since last Saturday when six residents were in hospitals because of the disease.
52,170 total people tested (as of Oct. 5).
Positive rate for the period of Sept. 28-Oct. 5: 14.4% (entire state: 13.6%)
Washington: 47 new (3,652 total); 3,089 recovered, 33 deaths, 530 active cases
Iron: 5 new (813 total); 707 recovered, 3 deaths, 103 active cases
— SWUtahPublicHealth (@SWUHEALTH) October 7, 2020
The 56 new cases reported in southwest Utah on Wednesday bring the total number of infections to 4,653. Of those cases, 39 people have died. The fatality rate for the region is 0.01%.
Utah’s intensive care units were 72.4% occupied as of Wednesday’s report, meeting the state’s goal of less than 85% occupancy.
Southern Utah University has reported that 40 people on campus have informed the school of a positive COVID-19 test since the fall semester began. The school will release the updated number of cases from Oct. 1-7 Thursday.
Utah County continues to post the highest rate of cases per capita in the state, although its rate continued to decline. Brigham Young University reported a decrease in the number of new cases on campus, and stated on Twitter, “The trends we’re seeing are encouraging.” BYU’s total active case count of 158 is still the highest total of any university in the state.
1/ Update on BYU’s COVID-19 case count from Branden Wilson, Managing Director, BYU Risk Management & Safety:
Two weeks ago, Pres. Kevin J Worthen and UVU Pres. Astrid S. Tuminez sent a joint letter to students asking for a change in behavior to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
— BYU (@BYU) October 7, 2020
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that state data for individual communities is showing substantial rates of new cases in large swaths throughout, suggesting the September outbreaks that affected many young adults in Utah County have long since spiraled into the rest of the state.
There are currently 103 active cases in Iron County according to SWUPHD. The department has not reported a higher total since they began posting the number of active cases in the area on Sept. 30.
Story by: Connor Sanders
Photo by: Mitchell Quartz