The Utah Department of Health reported 21 new COVID-19 deaths on Friday, while statewide averages for case counts and positive tests continued to decline.
The Health Department specified in Friday’s COVID-19 report that 19 of the 21 deaths actually occurred before February 1st.
The Health Department has clarified in the past that the reporting of official COVID-19 deaths is a lengthy process and each day’s counts do not reflect the number of people who have died in the last 24 hours.
For example, someone who was not hospitalized at the time of their death, but is suspected to be a possible COVID-19 victim, must be investigated by the department before a decision is made to include them in the official report.
Friday’s report included 10 long-term care facility residents and nine individuals who were not hospitalized at the time of their deaths.
All 21 deaths reported on Friday were individuals over the age of 65, none were from either Summit or Wasatch Counties.
The statewide COVID-19 death toll is now 1,834.
The Health Department also reported 857 new cases statewide, bringing the seven-day average of positive tests down to 803, the lowest since mid-September of last year.
Summit County reported 11 new cases, Wasatch County reported six.
Statewide averages for the percent of positive laboratory tests have remained relatively stable this week, with the person over person average at roughly 14% and the tests over tests average hovering around the 6-7% mark.
As of Friday, there are currently 255 Utahns hospitalized with the disease, three fewer than Thursday. Statewide COVID-19 referral center ICU beds are currently 81.1% full.
The Health Department says over 580,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered as of Friday, with over 188,000 people immunized with two doses.
Governor Spencer Cox announced this week that people over the age of 65 will now be able to schedule a vaccination appointment, effective immediately. Both the Summit and Wasatch County Health Departments have updated their websites to allow individuals 65 and older to register online.