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COVID-19 cases continue in Summit County

Utah COVID-19 Community Task Force
More Utah counties are moving into the moderate level of COVID-19 transmission as cases continue throughout the state

As more cases and hospitalizations from COVID-19 once again increase, more counties in Utah are moving into the moderate level of virus transmission. Summit County’s health director says this is the natural progression of the virus that’s responsible for nearly 4,800 deaths in the state.

Summit County Health Dept. Director Phil Bondurant says the ups and downs of positive cases of COVID in Summit County is what people should learn to live with. While fully vaccinated and boosted residents will still test positive, he says it’s not nearly the dire situation we saw two years ago.

Vaccines he says are not intended to stop or eliminate the virus, but to keep people from experiencing severe outcomes, and he says they’ve done that.

“There are cases still present in our community, we're not seeing those hospitalizations that are consistent with what we saw, even just a year ago, at the same time where people were getting sick and ending up in the hospital. There's no doubt that people are getting sick. I know quite a few people in my own circle that are either sick with COVID, or just getting over it. And they didn't feel very well, I put them out for five to seven days. But in the end, the outcomes are good. They were able to weather the storm at home, and then come out on the positive side at the end of that five to seven day spell.”

But even being outside more often because of the warmer weather hasn’t stopped the virus from spreading. Bondurant believes it’s because things have loosened up and people are traveling more.

“I know that as summer hits, people are having summer vacations are traveling abroad, which they should be. My family and I are also scheduled for a vacation where we're going to jump on a plane here in a few weeks. And, and I'm excited about that. The other thing that could be contributing to it is that maybe we've loosened up a little bit on what we are doing as individuals, whether that's some of those behaviors that might put us in a position where we're more exposed to COVID-19.

Summit County hasn’t reported a death related to COVID since March and while there have been 12 hospitalizations in the last 30 days, he says none required intensive care.

“Most people now know what COVID-19 is; they know the symptoms associated with it. And they realize that if they get into see a provider quickly, they can receive antivirals or other therapies that can minimize the effects of that disease and help them recover a lot quicker. So, the hospitalization is definitely not a bad thing, In that regard, it provides treatment sooner. What we really are concerned with in hospitalizations, is if we are overwhelming our local hospital, and at this case, it doesn't appear that that's the situation.”

There have also been breakthrough cases of those fully vaccinated and boosted who have caught the virus more than once, but he says the expectation is that each time they get it, the symptoms are less severe. Bondurant believes there will be new booster shots available, along with flu shots, seasonally.