Friday COVID-19 Update: One More Wasatch County Death and New Transmission Level Recommendations
Another Wasatch County COVID-19 death was reported by the Utah Department of Health on Friday.
Friday’s Wasatch County death was reported to be a man over the age of 85 who was a long-term care facility resident at the time of his death. To date, Wasatch County has recorded 19 deaths since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Summit County has recorded eight deaths.
In addition to the fatality in Wasatch County, the Utah Department of Health also reported 10 other deaths on Friday, bringing the statewide COVID-19 death toll to 1,785.
The Health Department reported 1,060 new COVID-19 cases, lowering the statewide seven-day average of positive cases to 1,025, the lowest since October 3rd of last year.
The statewide “test over test” seven-day average of positive laboratory tests is now 6.6%, the lowest since late August 2020.
Statewide, there are currently 312 people hospitalized with the disease, 15 fewer than Thursday. Statewide referral center ICU capacity is 87%, down one percent from the previous day.
As of Friday, over 489,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered in the state.
The Department of Health also announced changes to the percent positivity threshold levels in the Utah COVID-19 Transmission Index and to actions individuals and businesses should take in areas of “moderate” and “low” transmission.
Beginning next Thursday, the seven-day average percent positivity metric used to determine levels of transmission will transition to the “test over test” percent positivity metric.
The Health Department says because the “test over test” percent positivity skews lower than the previous “people over people,” the range for percent positivity in the Transmission Index will also shift lower.
Starting next week, a county’s seven-day average percent positivity of greater than 10% will belong to the “high” transmission category; a percent positivity between 5.1%-9.9% will belong to the “moderate” transmission category, and a percent positivity of 5% or less will belong to the “low” transmission category. Currently, both Summit and Wasatch Counties are classified as “high” transmission areas by the Health Department.
Additionally, public gathering requirements in areas of “moderate” transmission will also be changed.
In these areas, public gatherings may occur with side-by-side seating as long as all participants are wearing masks, seating is assigned, and attest to not having any COVID-19 symptoms or exposures in the past 14 days.
The Health Department does say concession stands must be closed in “moderate” areas due to the increased risk of transmission with an increased number of people with masks removed to eat or drink. These requirements do not apply to religious services.