Beginning in late March vaccines became available to all Utahns 16 and older. In the ensuing 13 weeks there have been 28,233 new coronavirus cases and almost 99 percent of them were unvaccinated.
Gov. Spencer Cox addressed that concern Thursday during his monthly press conference on PBS Utah.
“It’s very sad. Multiple times during the past two weeks I have had conversations with families of loved ones who’ve died or are in the hospital in dire circumstances because they refused to get vaccinated,” the governor claimed. “Completely preventable, they didn’t have to die, they don’t have to be in the hospital. But they’re dead now and they’re in the hospital now because they refused to get vaccinated.”
This week the CDC classified the Delta variant as a “variant of concern” because of evidence it spreads more easily and causes more severe cases than other variants. The number of cases of the Delta variant in Utah grew this week from 42 to 162 and the governor assured Utahns the vaccine works against this variant.
“The Delta variant is here,” Gov. Cox said. “We believe that it is growing and we’ll have some updated numbers that should be coming out I think tomorrow that will show an increase in the Delta variant here in the state of Utah. But again, not amongst vaccinated people.”
The governor said 64.3 percent of Utah adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, close to 70 percent which is considered “herd immunity.”
The Thursday report from the Utah Department of Health included 369 new cases of the virus since Wednesday. For the second straight day, the new statewide total cases surpassed the current seven-day average of 288 cases a day.
The Bear River Health District reported 15 new positive cases which leaves a total of 22,156 cases since the start of the pandemic.
Also, the state reported no new coronavirus deaths and over the course of the pandemic there have been 2,324 COVID fatalities in Utah.
There have been 410,746 coronavirus cases in Utah over the course of the pandemic. In Cache, Box Elder and Rich counties the total is 22,156, of which 21,846 have been declared “recovered”.
Thursday Idaho reports 2,122 coronavirus deaths with 193,919 confirmed COVID-19 cases. In the three southeast Idaho counties case counts include 1,211 positive cases in Franklin County, 394 in Bear Lake County and 362 in Oneida County.