Utah’s hospitals are filling up as 1,543 new cases are reported Thursday

A week after announcing a new approach by enacting local restrictions to fight the coronavirus, Gov. Gary Herbert admitted if citizens don’t change their behavior nothing will curb the recent surge in new COVID-19 cases.

He spoke during his monthly PBS Utah news conference.

Dr. Eddie Stenehjem, infectious disease medical director for Intermountain Healthcare, spoke during the press conference, explaining what the state’s health care workers are enduring.

“However, as cases climb our caregivers are becoming stretched thin, as we care for more and more COVID-19 patients and we’re asking more and more of them,” Dr. Stenehjem explained. “Our caregivers are tired, they’re emotionally spent, and they’re frustrated. And sometimes they’re even angry from the situation we find ourselves in.

“They’re frustrated when they see individuals and communities and occasionally local governments not heeding the advice of scientists and public health experts, to follow simple public health measures.”

The state health department’s report Thursday of 1,543 new COVID-19 positive cases only served to emphasize the plight Utah faces.

Another week of tracking by the Utah Department of Health has found in the last seven days 15.5 percent of all coronavirus tests statewide were positive. That is another new record-high rate.

There are 96 new cases Thursday in the  Bear River Health District: 61 in Cache County and 35 in Box Elder County.

There have been 4,727 positive cases over the course of the pandemic in the Bear River District: 3,851 in Cache County, 856 in Box Elder County and 20 in Rich County.

Among the new positives in the district, 3,461 are considered “recovered”. Hospitalizations are on the rise in northern Utah. There are 16 from the district in hospitals, 12 from Cache County and four from Box Elder County.

Thursday the number of tests administered in Utah the last seven months grew past one million (1,004,286)  as 10,291 Utahns were tested since Wednesday

The six COVID-19 deaths since Wednesday mean 563 Utahns have died due to the coronavirus.

In October there have now been at least 1,000 new cases on 19 of 22 days.

On Thursday current COVID-19 hospitalizations in Utah totaled 301 and total hospitalizations since the beginning of the outbreak are now 4,880. The most recent report from Idaho indicates there are 55,650 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state. There have been 546 COVID deaths in Idaho with 309 positive tests in Franklin County, 64 positives in Bear Lake County and 37 in Oneida County.

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