The Utah Department of Health says “significant technical difficulties” caused an artificially low number of COVID-19 cases to be reported on Friday.
After Thursday’s staggering COVID-19 case numbers climbed to just under 4,000, Utahns were eager to see the needle move in the opposite direction on Friday.
The Utah Department of Health only reported 2,150 cases on Friday but added that “significant technical difficulties” with their data system caused the system to malfunction early this morning.
The glitch only allowed the Health Department to report an incomplete number of new infections on Friday. They say the remainder of cases not reported on Friday will be included in Saturday’s numbers, which will make those numbers artificially high.
The malfunction also affects numbers for rolling seven-day averages for positive cases and averages of positive laboratory tests.
The Health Department says hospitalization numbers and deaths were not affected by the issue and reported 473 are people currently hospitalized with the disease, an increase of five from Thursday.
14 more COVID-19 deaths were reported as well, including two men between the ages of 25 and 44. All others were over the age of 45 and none of the deaths were from Summit or Wasatch County.
Wasatch county only reported 16 new cases after a record breaking 54 on Thursday. Summit County had not updated their numbers at the time of this report but has been experiencing a plateau and slight decline in average cases over the past week.
Statewide ICU beds are currently 83% occupied and COVID-19 referral center ICU beds remain 87.4% full. Utah Hospital Association CEO Greg Bell said on Thursday hospitals consider 85% capacity to be full once patient rotations and PPE requirements are factored in.
New statewide health orders announced this week by Governor Gary Herbert include a statewide mask mandate and limiting social gatherings to people within the same household until November 23rd.