Health official calls out Utah County college students as case counts rise

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University of Utah Health workers test for COVID-19 in Farmington on Friday, July 31, 2020. U of U Health is using cooling methods at its testing stations to keep employees comfortable during the extreme heat.

University of Utah Health workers test for COVID-19 in Farmington on Friday, July 31, 2020. U of U Health is using cooling methods at its testing stations to keep employees comfortable during the extreme heat. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

‘We are experiencing a clear upward trend’ of COVID-19 cases, state epidemiologist says

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah health officials reported 563 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths on Monday.

The cases were confirmed out of 4,809 tests — an 11.7% positive rate, according to the Utah Department of Health.

“We are experiencing a clear upward trend in case counts right now. This trend is being driven, in large part, by an increase in cases among college-aged young adults in Utah County,” Dr. Angela Dunn, epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Health, said in a statement Monday.

“Since last Friday, 39% of all new cases have come from Utah County, this despite the fact that Utah County’s population represents just 20% of the state’s population. Most of these cases are among 14-24 year olds, and the majority of those are among college-aged young adults,” Dunn said.

Now 58,438 of 721,682 people have tested positive for the disease in Utah since the pandemic began, an overall positive rate of 8.2%.

The rolling seven-day average for new cases is 487 per day, and the average positive test rate is 9.8%. Currently, 134 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19, an increase of five since Sunday. Hospitalizations in the state since the outbreak started now total 3,338, according to health officials.

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“Colleges across the state, and specifically in Utah County, have acted proactively to implement solid prevention measures on their campuses. They need help from their students to act responsibly while off campus. What students do off campus has a direct impact on a school’s ability to safely operate their campus,” she added.

Dunn urged people to avoid large, indoor gatherings and continue to follow quarantine and isolation guidelines.

Utah’s death toll due to the coronavirus stands at 436. The latest deaths were: a Duchesne County man between 65-84, who was not hospitalized when he died; a Salt Lake County man between 65-84, who was hospitalized when he died; and a Utah County man between 25-44, who was hospitalized when he died.

Just over 48,900 of the state’s cases are considered recovered after surviving the three-week point since their diagnoses.

This story will be updated.

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Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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