The Utah Department of Health reported 988 new COVID-19 cases, with five new deaths on Monday. The deaths were two men from Washington County, one man in Davis County, one woman in Salt Lake County, and another in Garfield County. Iron County reports seven new cases today and three from Sunday.
Although the seven-day case average sits lower than Sunday’s, at 1,145 positive test results, Utah hospitals continue to be overworked. Utah broke records with an average of 235 COVID-19 patients hospitalized daily, totaling 4,331 individuals hospitalized due to the virus.
In the past week, 13.9% of test results have come back positive. However, there were only 4,360 test results reported Monday, which is nearly half the usual daily average of 8,107. To state officials, this indicates that sick individuals are not getting tested.
According to an article published by The Salt Lake Tribune, some Utahns are refusing to get tested for COVID-19 despite having symptoms.
Some don’t want to risk humiliation of testing positive, or being forced to quarantine for two weeks. The article outlines the experience of one Brigham Young University student whose sick roommates refused testing to avoid a school closure.
Ellie Crook reported that she and her roommates were infected with the virus after one of her five roommates became ill and refused to get tested. Crook believes that initial illness spread to far more people than their household alone.
“Who knows what she’s responsible for and how many others she could have infected…I was just livid. If she would have gotten tested early, it could have saved me from getting sick,” Crook said.
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, a state lawmaker, Rep. Mark Strong, is another “anti-tester,” saying, “The health department doesn’t need to know if I’m sick or not.”
State Epidemiologist Angela Dunn believes those not getting tested are a major factor for the continuation of the disease. In a recent conference about contact tracing, Dunn urged Utahns to get tested.
“You must go get tested. This is the only way we will know where the spread of COVID-19 is. We need to know that…Please help us,” Dunn said.
Story by Amanda Walton
Photo Courtesy of SUU News