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The sustained spike in coronavirus cases in Utah continued on Saturday as health officials reported hospitalizations due to the virus had again increased to record levels, with 298 patients receiving active care.
The previous high was recorded on Friday, when 290 patients were hospitalized. Overall, 4,61
In total, the state reported that there were 93,297 positive cases of the virus in Utah, an increase of 1,340 since Friday. There were also three new deaths, bringing the total number of people dying from the virus to 540. The deaths included:
- A Davis County man who was over 85 years old and had not been hospitalized at the time of his death
- A woman from Salt Lake County who was over 85 and lived in a long-term care facility
- A Carbon County man aged 65-84 who was hospitalized at the time of death
The spike in cases is “unsustainable,” Governor Gary Herbert said in a statement released alongside Friday’s coronavirus report. And he urged the Utahns, once again, to wear masks, to distance themselves socially and to limit the size of social gatherings.
“Unless we do these things, we can expect to see calmer days,” he said.
Jess Gomez, spokesperson for Intermountain Health Care, said on Saturday that the hospital is also seeing high bed utilization of its ICUs, which are treating “both COVID patients and many non-COVID patients who are in ICU. for a variety of conditions. “
“We’re getting close to capacity but we’re not there yet. But it’s getting very close,” he said.
As hospitalizations hit record highs, Gomez said the health care provider is asking the community to “stay with us” and do its part to prevent hospitals from being overrun by patients.
“Now more than ever we really need people to step up and do whatever they can to cut down on broadcasting,” he said. “We keep saying the same things, but they are of fundamental importance and unfortunately they are not used universally.”
If people follow the public health guide, he said, “we can do it.”
But at this point, Gomez said “the consequences are falling on our health community which is struggling to keep up with people who need hospital care for COVID and other problems.”
The State Department of Health reported that of the 298 people currently hospitalized, 96 are confirmed to be using intensive care unit beds. The Utah ICU beds were 75 percent occupied until Saturday.
9,142 new test results were reported on Saturday, as the statewide positivity rate remained between 13% and 14% which state officials say indicates there are far more sick people than those being tested. Saturday was 14%.
Over the past week, the Utah Department of Health has averaged 1,236 new positive test results per day, continuing a string of new records.
This story will be updated.