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College students in Utah County are driving a spike in new coronavirus cases that is now “clear”
“We are experiencing a clear upward trend in case it counts right now,” wrote Dr. Angela Dunn, the state epidemiologist, in a statement. “This trend is driven, in large part, by an increase in cases among college-age young adults in Utah County.”
With 563 new coronavirus cases reported on Monday, the new diagnosis rate in Utah remained above the governor’s target of less than 400 cases per day.
Over the past seven days, Utah has recorded an average of 487 new positive results per day, the Utah Department of Health reported Monday. Governor Gary Herbert had said he wanted the state to drop below 400 new cases per day by September 1, a goal achieved by Utah in mid-August but surpassed again on September 3.
The virus continued to spread faster in Utah County, which recorded 210 new cases on Monday. Over the past seven days, Utah County has recorded an average of more than 31 new cases per day per 100,000 people, more than double the state average of 15 new cases per 100,000 per day and the Salt Lake County average of 14.7.
“Since last Friday, 39 percent of all new cases have come from Utah County, despite the fact that the Utah County population accounts for 20 percent of the state’s population,” Dunn wrote. “Most of these cases are between the ages of 14 and 24, and most of them are young college-age adults.”
Utah County is at the “yellow” or low restriction level according to state guidelines.
The coronavirus death toll in Utah was 436 on Monday, with three deaths reported since Sunday:
- A man from Duchesne County, aged 65 to 84, who was not hospitalized when he died.
- A man from Salt Lake County, aged 65 to 84, died in hospital.
- A man from Utah County, aged 25 to 44, died in hospital.
Death in Duchesne County was the county’s first fatality from COVID-19.
Hospitalizations were on the rise on Monday, with 134 Utah patients hospitalized simultaneously, UDOH reported. On average, 122 patients received treatment in Utah hospitals every day for the past week, up slightly from last week but below the average peak of 211 patients admitted each day at the end of July.
In total, 3,338 patients were hospitalized in Utah for COVID-19, up 12 from Sunday.
Statewide, the positive test rate in Utah has been over 5% since May 25, according to UDOH data.
4,809 new test results were reported on Monday, above the one-week average of 4,277 new tests per day. Test demand remains far below mid-July, when the state averaged more than 7,000 new test results per day.
Since public schools began opening on August 13, there have been 45 school outbreaks, affecting 215 patients, with six new outbreaks and 36 new cases reported on the last day – the largest increase in school-related cases. in just one day. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 260 patients infected in 56 school outbreaks, with an average age of 17. Nine of these patients were hospitalized; nobody died.
Meanwhile, four Roy High School administrators are in quarantine after one tested positive for COVID-19, apparently contracting it outside of school, the Weber School District reported Monday.
The number of younger patients with the coronavirus continues to soar. According to the latest weekly averages, four out of every 1,000 users between the ages of 15 and 24 contract the virus every day.
Colleges across the state, and particularly in Utah County, have been acting proactively to implement robust preventative measures on their campuses. They need the help of their students to act responsibly while they are off campus, “wrote Dunn.” What students do off campus has a direct impact on a school’s ability to safely manage its campus. ” .
Brigham Young University students, in particular, have come under criticism for large off-campus parties since the start of the fall semester.
“I will not stop,” wrote Kwaku El, a BYU senior and founder of the events company Young / Dumb, in an Instagram post. Videos from his parties this month show hundreds of people dancing in a crowd, overwhelmingly without masks.
El said on Instagram that he believes breaking social distancing recommendations will save the economy.
As of Friday, BYU reported 258 new cases of this term in its 43,000 college community. In contrast, the University of Utah recorded 195 cases from August 15 out of 62,000 on campus on Monday; Utah State University has reported 122 cases among approximately 31,000 students and employees on its campuses across the state; and Utah Valley University reported 67 cases of falls on its 23,000 campus as of Sept. 7. BYU and UVU publish new case numbers weekly.
Of the 58,438 Utahns who tested positive for COVID-19, 48,934 are considered “cured,” meaning they survived for at least three weeks after diagnosis.