With Utah officials urging residents to assume they have COVID-19 and avoid adding to overcrowded testing centers if they exhibit symptoms, the state still hit a new peak for total case numbers reported last week as the omicron variant of the virus continued to spread.
New coronavirus cases leaped in the week ending Sunday rose 51.6% as 68,298 cases were reported. The previous week had 45,044 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Utah ranked fifth among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the latest week coronavirus cases in the United States increased 5.8% from the week before, with 5,438,242 cases reported. With 0.96% of the country's population, Utah had 1.26% of the country's cases in the last week. Across the country, 39 states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before.
Many counties did not report during data during the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, disrupting the latest week's statistics. That data is being compared to a week with backlogged cases and deaths from the New Year's holiday weekend. Week-to-week comparisons are skewed and these numbers will be unreliable even as they're accurate to what states reported.
Within Utah, the worst weekly outbreaks on a per-person basis were in Summit County with 3,301 cases per 100,000 per week; Salt Lake County with 2,660; and Wasatch County with 2,382. The Centers for Disease Control says high levels of community transmission begin at 100 cases per 100,000 per week.
Adding the most new cases overall were Salt Lake County, with 30,867 cases; Utah County, with 12,404 cases; and Davis County, with 8,194. Weekly case counts rose in six counties from the previous week. The worst increases from the prior week's pace were in Salt Lake, Utah and Davis counties.
Utah ranked 28th among states in share of people receiving at least one shot, with 68% of its residents at least partially vaccinated. The national rate is 74.6%, a USA TODAY analysis of CDC data shows. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are the most used in the United States, require two doses administered a few weeks apart.
In the week ending Wednesday, Utah reported administering another 55,043 vaccine doses, including 12,128 first doses. In the previous week, the state administered 56,750 vaccine doses, including 11,451 first doses. In all, Utah reported it has administered 4,616,351 total doses.
In Utah, 64 people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday. In the week before that, 100 people were reported dead.
A total of 750,334 people in Utah have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 3,951 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the United States 65,699,947 people have tested positive and 850,605 people have died.
Note: For Utah, Johns Hopkins University reports data mostly by health department, such as the combined Weber-Morgan agency. Weber and Morgan counties may be marked as having no cases. The county-level data for Utah is considerably worse than it is for any other state, and county comparisons may be wildly misleading.
Utah's COVID-19 hospital admissions rising
USA TODAY analyzed federal hospital data as of Sunday, Jan. 16.
Likely COVID patients admitted in the state:
Last week: 1,014
The week before that: 696
Four weeks ago: 470
Likely COVID patients admitted in the nation:
Last week: 203,221
The week before that: 185,954
Four weeks ago: 90,739
Hospitals in 41 states reported more COVID-19 patients than a week earlier, while hospitals in 35 states had more COVID-19 patients in intensive-care beds. Hospitals in 43 states admitted more COVID-19 patients in the latest week than a week prior, the USA TODAY analysis of U.S. Health and Human Services data shows.
The USA TODAY Network is publishing localized versions of this story on its news sites across the country, generated with data from Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Disease Control. If you have questions about the data or the story, contact Mike Stucka at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on St. George Spectrum & Daily News: Utah hits new peak for COVID-19 case rates