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Wasatch County

Utah COVID-19 case counts, hospitalizations continue to rise

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Utah’s rise in COVID-19 infections continued this week. Summit County is currently in the medium transmission level, while Wasatch County is still in low transmission.

According to the Utah Department of Health, statewide case counts have increased by over 30% since last week, with a daily average of nearly 1,100 cases a day.

Meanwhile, hospitalizations have gone up by more than 20% in that same time frame, with about 26 people admitted for COVID daily. However, data released on Thursday also show a 10% decrease in cases severe enough to be admitted to an ICU. That number is about 17 a day.

In the state and the Wasatch Back, the current spike has been going on a little over a month. Wasatch County Health Department Epidemiologist Chris Smoot hopes that means there could soon be a downturn, since past surges typically lasted around four to six weeks.

“So, if we’re looking at our surge and counting that as the start of May, perhaps that means we’ve peaked and maybe we’ll start going down,” Smoot said, “but there’s always complications of some new sub-variants showing up, and are they more contagious? Are they more able to cause breakthrough cases?”

Similar to the rest of the state, Wasatch County daily cases increased by about 35% last week, while Summit County cases went up by 7%.

He said these days, the risk of death may be lower overall, but many people are still at risk of dying or experiencing long-term side effects.

“Our concern is still for those that are most vulnerable,” Smoot said. “So, we are seeing fewer deaths, which is a great thing, but as with omicron, when you saw a large surge in cases, then that puts pressure on the healthcare system.”

He added that stress on hospitals and their resources means they’re more challenged in serving patients with other needs.

In Wasatch County, three main providers offer PCR COVID tests by appointment: Heber Valley Hospital, Lee’s Marketplace and Walgreens. They aren’t free of charge, but Smoot said most health insurance covers them.

Specific information about where to find tests wasn’t available for Summit County.

Links to the full state report and a search tool for finding testing sites by date of availability, location and test type are available in the web version of this report.

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