SALT LAKE CITY – As if to underscore the seriousness of newly imposed statewide health restrictions, the Utah Department of Health reported 2,247 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday.
The deaths of two additional coronavirus patients were also reported, both males between 65 and 84 years of age.
Monday’s case increase brings the total number of Utahns who have tested positive for the coronavirus to nearly 135,000 since the outbreak began in mid-March.
The number of state residents hospitalized for COVID-19 jumped by 20 overnight, bringing the total to 444.
Gov. Gary Herbert said Sunday that upward trend in hospitalizations, which threatens to overwhelm the capacity of Utah medical facilities to treat coronavirus patients, was largely responsible for his decision to impose new statewide health precautions.
Those emergency measures aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus are a statewide mask mandate; a ban on all casual social gatherings with anyone other than immediate family members; a postponement of all sporting events and extra-curricular activities with the exception of playoffs, championship games and intercollegiate athletics; and an enhanced regimen of COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.
At a Monday press conference, state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn expressed confidence in the ability of those new restrictions to slow the statewide rate of COVID-19 infection over the next two weeks, provided that residents strictly follow them.
The increase of 2,247 cases on Monday puts Utah’s rolling seven-day average for positive COVID-19 tests at 2,437 per day.
As of Monday, more than 1.16 million Utahns had been tested for the coronavirus. The state’s rolling seven-day average for positive testing is now 21.1 percent.
Here in the Bear River Health District, officials reported 93 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, a significant drop from 162 new cases reported a day earlier. Of that number, 26 new cases were in Box Elder County, 66 were in Cache County and 1 was reported in Rich County.
The most recent Idaho data indicates there are 72,961 confirmed COVID-19 cases so far in the state. Since the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March, 421 residents have tested positive for the coronavirus in Franklin County, 114 in Bear Lake County and 81 in Oneida County. There have been 686 COVID-19 deaths in Idaho, an increase of three fatalities overnight.