Nine more COVID-19 deaths were reported by the Utah Department of Health on Friday as the state health department released a statement urging Utahns to continue wearing masks even after the statewide mandate ends.
Utah’s statewide mask mandate is scheduled to end April 10th and the Utah Department of Health released a statement on Friday urging people in the state to continue wearing masks until more people can be vaccinated.
The Health Department cites several reasons to continue wearing masks, including that no vaccine is currently approved for use on anyone under the age of 16. The department warns that children can still become seriously ill, suffer long-term side effects from the disease, and spread it to others, and points out that not every adult in a school setting has been fully vaccinated yet.
In a press release, Utah Department of Health Executive Director Richard Saunders said:
“Until more people have a chance to get vaccinated, we urge people to continue to wear masks in public places and around those who haven’t been vaccinated. We’ve come so far and are so close to returning to normal. We ask for your patience and cooperation a little while longer.”
The Health Department also announced nine additional COVID-19 deaths on Friday. The department said eight of the nine deaths occurred before March 18th. The deaths bring the statewide death toll from COVID-19 to 2,157. None of Friday’s deaths were from either Summit or Wasatch Counties.
444 new cases were reported statewide on Friday, four in Summit County, seven in Wasatch County. The statewide rolling seven-day average for positive tests is now 402 per day.
The averages for the percent of positive laboratory tests remained virtually unchanged on Friday after 5,264 were tested with the people-over-people average now at an even 7% and the tests-over-tests average now at 3.4%.
140 people are currently hospitalized with the disease statewide and COVID-19 referral center ICUs are now 72.2% full.
Nearly 47,000 vaccine doses have been administered across Utah in the last 24 hours and over 1.6 million doses have been administered so far.