Utah Reports Record High, 2,807 New COVID-19 Cases, As Summit County Sees 19 Cases, Wasatch Sees 15
Utah announced 2,807 new COVID-19 cases, its highest reported daily increase yet.
Summit County saw 19 new cases, and last Thursday - for comparison - Summit reported 28 new infections.
In Wasatch County, the health department reported 15 new cases, last Thursday the county saw 14 cases. Wasatch County had a record-breaking day of COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, when the health department reported 30 new infections.
And in the state, cases numbers aren’t the only thing on the rise, hospitalization rates are also increasing. Right now, there are 389 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state, in comparison a week ago there were 317 people hospitalized. And the new spike in cases will likely further burden Utah’s hospital system, which is nearing capacity.
Governor Gary Herbert spoke at a coronavirus briefing about the state’s record breaking new increase in COVID-19 cases. He said he’s not surprised by the new numbers.
“It's grim news. And it's discouraging,” Herbert said. “Unfortunately, the news of these higher numbers are not surprising. And if projections that we have coming out of our Department of Health are correct, we're going to see higher numbers in the upcoming days and weeks, we'll continue to see this dramatic increase unless we modify and change our behavior.”
That increase in numbers is being largely driven by social gatherings. After a number of reported Halloween parties with thousands estimated in attendance, State Epidemiologist Angela Dunn said Utah can expect the number of new daily cases to get even higher.
“It is likely that we will see additional cases because of these large events,” Dunn said. “The news and the social media posts around those are very concerning for a potential increase in cases in the next week or so, typically, after these events, if we're going to see a spike, we see it within 10 to 14 days after the event.”
And Governor Herbert said the timing of these spikes could take a toll on the winter economy.
“This has the potential - and does in fact - impact our economy, not only the short term, but the long term” Herbert said. “If we have high spikes, in our case numbers, fewer people are going to come to Utah to ski. Our tourism travel industry was already hard hit because of it could be continued to have that loss of revenue and loss of opportunity. We're down probably 17 or 18%, in the hospitality industry right now today. And unless we get a handle on the case numbers, it's not going to improve.”
Herberts said health and government officials will be meeting throughout the week and next week they might have more updates to share on the COVID-19 situation in Utah.