The decline of coronavirus cases during the Thanksgiving holidays has given way to a sharp surge in daily caseloads since then, including 3,945 cases reported Thursday by the state health department.
Gov. Gary Herbert said Utah citizens drove the number of cases down statewide by limiting social gathering but are now watching cases grow without those controls in place.
“Our worry is not only just the spread of the virus in case numbers but it’s the increasing uptick in hospitalizations, particularly the uptick in ICU bed space; we’re at the brim,” said Gov. Herbert. “We’re really at maximum capacity. And, of course, what falls on the heels of those numbers is increasing death rates.
“So, again, we’ve said before that we need to be careful about what we’re doing because hospitals can only accommodate so many of us.”
The state reports 917 Utah coronavirus fatalities since the outbreak including 11 new deaths Thursday.
Nearly a third of those deaths — almost 300 of them — occurred in the last month.
The latest rolling seven-day average for percent of positive laboratory tests is 24.2 percent, very close to the record high of 24.6 percent during the pandemic. Also the current rolling seven-day average for positive tests is 2,672.
The Governor praised the work of hospital workers on the frontlines fighting the pandemic.
”They are doing tremendous work and they are overtaxed and overworked,” Gov. Herbert exclaimed. “And we need to appreciate the work they are doing and do our part to help slow it down so they can continue to maintain what we have already in place. They have a very heavy load.
“Also appreciate the teachers out there that are again facing maybe a heavier load because of the fluctuations, the ups and downs of school admissions and closings and then online and back to in-class, and then uncertainty that is taking place there.”
There have been 34 coronavirus deaths in the Bear River Health District during the nine months of the pandemic, 18 in Box Elder County and 16 in Cache County.
The Thursday report from the Bear River Health Department includes 215 new positive cases in the district. The number of daily cases by county is not available.
There have been 10,789 positive cases over the course of the pandemic in the Bear River District. Total hospitalizations in the Bear River district, from the beginning of the outbreak, is 389 patients.
In Idaho there are 104,734 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state. There have been 991 COVID deaths in Idaho with 713 positive tests in Franklin County, 197 positives in Bear Lake County and 153 in Oneida County.