SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Department of Health on Thursday reported 4,672 new COVID-19 cases with another 13 deaths, breaking the record for the number of cases reported in one day.
The Department of Health now estimates that there are 50,904 active cases of the disease in Utah.
The sudden increase in cases comes after the state had a steady decline in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks. Back in November, officials feared an increase in Thanksgiving Day, but they were happy to report only a small surge after the holiday.
With Thursday’s numbers, however, there is an increase in cases related to Christmas.
Gov.-elected Spencer Cox wrote on Twitter that while the possibility of the sharp increase in cases is due to low testing last week, it is possible the start of a holiday-related boom.
“Our fear is that people were less careful at Christmas,” he wrote in a tweet. “If you’re planning big events to celebrate New Year’s Eve, consider it again.”
According to the Department of Health, this now averages 2,288 positive cases per day on seven days. The positive test rate per day for that period is now 25.6%. The total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic is now at 1,269.
Of the 1,726,003 people tested so far for COVID-19 in Utah, 16% tested positive for COVID-19. The health department reported that 11,412 new people were tested on COVID-19 on Thursday.
There are now 510 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah, with 158 in intensive care units, state data shows. Total hospitalizations since the onset of the outbreak are now 10,956.
About 83.2% of all ICU beds are occupied in Utah as of Thursday, including about 87% of ICU beds in the state’s 16 referral hospitals. About 55.7% of the non-ICU hospital beds are occupied, according to state data.
A total of 30,200 COVID-19 vaccines have now been administered, compared to 23,970 on Wednesday, according to state data. Health officials note that there is a delay in data departing up to seven days from the vaccination of doses to Utah, administered to patients and reported to the state health department. The state reported Wednesday that more than 125,000 total vaccine doses have been shipped or approved to be shipped to Utah.
This story will be updated.
Test results now contain data from PCR tests and antigen tests. Positive COVID-19 test results are reported to the health department immediately after confirmation, but negative test results may not be reported 24 to 72 hours.
The total number of cases reported each day by the Utah Department of Health includes all cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak of Utah, including those currently infected, those recovering from the disease, and those who have died.
Recovered cases are defined as anyone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 three or more weeks ago and did not die.
Reference hospitals are the 16 Utah hospitals that can provide the best COVID-19 health care.
According to the Department of Health, deaths usually occurred two to seven days before they were reported. Some deaths can come back even further, especially if the person is from Utah but died in another state.
The Department of Health reports both confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths as defined by the case set forth by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. The death rates could change as case investigations are completed.
For deaths reported as COVID-19 deaths, the person would not have died if they had not had COVID-19, according to the Department of Health.
Data included in this story primarily reflects the state of Utah as a whole. Visit the website of your local health district for more localized data.
More information on Utah’s health education levels is available at coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-health-guidance-levels.
Information comes from the Utah Department of Health and coronavirus.utah.gov/case-counts. For more information on how the Utah Department of Health compiles and reports COVID-19 data, visit coronavirus.utah.gov/case-counts and browse to the “Data Notes” section at the bottom of the page.