LOGAN – Friday case counts reported by the Utah Department of Health, which includes an alarming 439 new cases from yesterday, reflect a significant increase in the spread of COVID-19 in the state and Utah epidemiologist Angela Dunn put the focus on the northern end of the state.
Among Friday’s 439 new statewide cases, 198 of them were found in the Bear River Health District. That means 45 percent of all new COVID-19 cases in the Friday report came from northern Utah.
“(T)hese new cases are from the Bear River Health District,” said Dr. Dunn, “and many of those are tied to an ongoing outbreak we have been investigating at a local meat processing facility. Many of the workers at this facility match the demographics of who we know are at the highest risk for infection. I expect to see additional cases of COVID-19 identified as part of this outbreak, both at the worksite and in the community.”
According to a BRHD statement, their staff is making every effort to get ahead of this outbreak and reduce the spread of COVID-19, but resources are strained. Additional investigators have been recruited through the Utah National Guard, local health departments throughout the state, and a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC team will be located at Bear River Health Department to provide technical assistance, industry assistance, and investigation support.
“As the health department continues to investigate this outbreak, we ask the residents of our community to remain diligent. We plead with you to maintain physical distancing when possible, wear
a face covering when physical distancing is difficult, stay home when you are sick, and wash your hands often,” said Lloyd Berentzen, Health Director, Bear River Health Department. “We appreciate all our communities have done and the sacrifices they have made.”
Also, a new order issued Friday by Gov. Gary Herbert assures Utah’s current risk levels from COVID-19 will remain in effect for now. His decree extends the state’s health guidance at “yellow” through June 12.
The caseload for the Bear River Health District has grown to 561. Positives from Cache County account for 514 of the total cases with 47 from Box Elder County and none from Rich County.
Also, 474 of the district’s 561 cases have been between 18-60 years old. There are 14 patients from the entire district currently hospitalized.
The updated Utah Department of Health’s total positive COVID-19 caseload stands at 11,252, a daily rate increase of 4.1 percent from yesterday. With yesterday’s 439 cases in the state it’s been nine straight days of 200 or more positives reported.
With 4,690 tests administered yesterday, 232,197 Utahns have been tested and the rate of positives for the last two and a half months is 4.8 percent.
There have been 120 total COVID-19 deaths, three more than yesterday. All three were Salt Lake County residents, two males between the ages of 60-85, (both were hospitalized at the time of death) and a female older than 85 who was a long term care facility resident.
There are 6,788 of Utah’s total COVID-19 cases that are considered “recovered.”
There were 20 more hospitalizations yesterday, 114 positive cases are now hospitalized, and the total COVID-19 hospitalizations the last two and a half months in Utah is 870.
Thursday’s Idaho report shows 3,054 confirmed COVID-19 cases and still 83 deaths. The Franklin County caseload remains at seven. There are still no cases in Bear Lake and Oneida counties.