Only one new coronavirus death reported Sunday, but Utah saw its deadliest week since the pandemic began

USA Utah News

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The good news is that the Utah Department of Health on Sunday announced only one new COVID-19 death. The bad news is that even without that figure, the state saw its deadliest week since the pandemic began.

For the seven-day period beginning May 4 and ending Sunday, 17 people died as a result of the highly-contagious coronavirus. With 67 total deaths through Sunday, 25.4% occurred over that seven-day span.

Salt Lake County continues to take on the brunt of the coronavirus. Of the 6,251 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, 3,921, or 52.6%, belong to Salt Lake County. With Salt Lake County accounting for about one-third of the state’s population, it should come as no surprise.

The one death announced Sunday was a Salt Lake County male over the age of 60. That is the 44th death in the county, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of the total deaths, which now sit at 67.

The problems Utah is facing pale in comparison to those across the United States, which crossed a total of 79,000 deaths Sunday morning. That is more than double the number of deaths in the United Kingdom and Italy, while tripling the total of Spain.

As of Sunday, the United States had over 1.3 million cases, accounting for almost one third of all cases globally. Of those 1.3 million cases, about 212,000 have been marked as recovered. There have been 8.7 million tests administered, and while the precise number of hospitalizations nationwide is unclear, it is in the neighborhood of 250,000, according to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine’s exhaustive dashboard.

In Utah, the Bear River health district saw cases shoot up by over 20% over the same seven-day period, going from 62 on May 4 to 78 on Sunday. Davis County had an 11% increase, San Juan County nearly 20%, Southwest Utah over 27%, and Utah County almost 17%.

As coronavirus cases have gone up, active hospitalizations have remained relatively steady. On May 4, there were 101 active hospitalizations. That number dropped to 95 on May 5 and was at 93 as of Saturday. Steady hospitalizations statewide indicate that there has not yet been increased pressure on hospitals. Across the state, there are about 700 ICU beds available.

The news was not all bad over the last week, as many areas saw significant slowdowns. Summit County had just eight new cases, no new hospitalizations and no new deaths. Wasatch County had 11 new cases, one new hospitalization and zero deaths.

Utah is defining a recovered person as someone whose first positive laboratory test was reported at least 21 days ago. The percentage of people who are estimated to have recovered continues to be on the uptick.

Through Saturday, there were 6,103 cases statewide, of which 3,033, or 48.5%, are estimated to have recovered. The recovered percentage rose for the fifth straight day Saturday, while the number recovered rose for the 39th straight day.

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