The Utah Department of Health reported 2,231 new positive COVID-19 cases and 10 new deaths on Monday. As cases continue to rise, intensive care unit beds across the state are at 91% capacity.
According to an article published by the Salt Lake Tribune, last week reported a record-breaking number of 603 patients currently hospitalized, though that number has dropped to 582.
The seven-day average positivity rate has climbed to 27.1% with an average of 3,125 positive daily cases.
Despite acknowledging that cases will continue to increase due to the holidays, Gov. Gary Herbert has not renewed any further restrictions on gatherings.
According to UDOH, all of Utah is currently red on a map of COVID-19 transmission rates, with more than 200 cases in every county. Iron County reported 57 new positive cases on Monday with 2 deaths in Washington county.
Southern Utah University had a decrease in positive cases during the week of Nov. 26 – Dec. 2 with 43 cases. As students continue to head home for the holidays, cases are likely to continue to decrease.
Utah plans to begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer in the upcoming weeks, however according to an article published by KSL, they are still awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA is expected to approve the vaccines this week. However, if for any safety or health reasons the vaccines are not approved, this decision could halt the distribution plan across the country.
Currently, under Utah’s distribution plan, frontline workers would receive the vaccine first. A UDOH representative Tom Hudachko told KSL that currently 71-72% of Utahns believe the vaccine will be safe to receive.
Story by Amanda Walton
Photo Courtesy of Mitchell Quartz