Home Health News 2614 more COVID-19 cases, 21 new deaths reported in Utah as state begins to ramp up vaccinations – KSL.com

2614 more COVID-19 cases, 21 new deaths reported in Utah as state begins to ramp up vaccinations – KSL.com

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s number of COVID-19 cases has increased by 2,614 on Wednesday, with 21 more deaths reported, according to an update provided by the Utah Department of Health.

The new COVID-19 case numbers indicate a 1% increase in positive cases since Tuesday. The rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 2,033, according to the health department. The positive test rate per day for that time period is now 25%. There are now 484 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah, state data shows.

Of the 21 new deaths, nine were from Salt Lake County and five were from Utah County, but the department reported new deaths from across the state. Utah now has 271,940 total confirmed cases, with 10,873 total hospitalizations and 1,256 total deaths from the disease since March following Wednesday’s totals.

Vaccinations ‘picking up some steam’

A total of 23,970 Utahns have now been vaccinated for COVID-19, according to the health department. Rich Lakin, immunization program manager for the Utah Department of Health, said Wednesday that vaccinations are picking up pace now and about 6,500 people have been vaccinated over the past two days, which accounts for about one-fourth of all vaccinations since the process began on Dec. 15.

“The initial rollout of the vaccine has been slow — slower than what we had anticipated and really slower than what we wanted — but we are picking up some steam,” he said.

The state also reported Wednesday that more than 125,000 total vaccine doses have either been shipped or approved to be shipped to Utah. The health department doesn’t have a figure regarding how many of those doses have arrived.

During an informal briefing with media members Wednesday, Lakin said there is a lag in data. He said there is usually at least a two-day delay between doses shipped and doses received. There’s also up to a 24-hour delay when doses are administered and when it shows up on the health department website.

Local health departments have started vaccinating non-hospital health care workers like emergency medical technicians, while Walgreens, CVS and community nursing services began vaccinating long-term care facility employees and residents. The latter is a result of a federal partnership with drug stores to roll out vaccines to long-term care facilities but still is represented in state supply data, Lakin explained. That’s on top of hospitals vaccinating front line workers, which kicked off the vaccinating process.

Vaccines are administered in two doses weeks apart, as well. Lakin added that the state has ordered its second round doses of the vaccination for people who have received their first round of immunization. The second round of doses for those already vaccinated will begin next week and will be counted in a separate health department statistic.

Why the state vaccine expects timeline delays

Still, vaccinations are behind what state officials had originally hoped by the end of the year even if the process is gaining steam. There were 154,000 doses expected to be in the state by the end of 2020. Earlier this month, federal officials apologized for a “miscommunication” over how many vaccine doses states would receive in the first few weeks. Many states, including Utah, were left with fewer doses than expected.

Lakin said this miscommunication will likely alter timelines to complete vaccination rounds for groups like health care workers. It also means likely delays for groups next on the vaccination list like teachers.

“Because we have less vaccine, it is pushing the timeline back a little bit,” he said.

Next in line after the groups are being vaccinated are first responders and teachers, which Lakin said he hopes the state can get to by the end of January. That’s ultimately up to how many doses the state receives from the federal government for that to happen. If rollout on a federal level continues to be slower than expected, it’ll likely push Utah’s timeline back.

“If we don’t have enough vaccine, we can’t move through the populations we’d like to because we can’t supply enough vaccines to our local health departments because the speed of them vaccinating is currently quicker than the amount of vaccine that we can get them,” Lakin said. “So you can see why that could cause some delay.”

Deaths reported Wednesday

The complete list of deaths provided by the department Wednesday was:

  • A Davis County man between the ages of 45 and 64 and hospitalized at the time of death
  • A Davis County woman and long-term care facility resident older than 85
  • A Salt Lake County man between the ages of 65 and 84 not hospitalized at the time of death
  • A Salt Lake County man between the ages of 65 and 84 and hospitalized at the time of death
  • A Salt Lake County man between the ages of 65 and 84 and hospitalized at the time of death
  • A Salt Lake County man and long-term care facility resident older than 85
  • A Salt Lake County man and long-term care facility resident older than 85
  • A Salt Lake County woman older than 85 and hospitalized at the time of death
  • A Salt Lake County man between the ages of 65 and 84 and hospitalized at the time of death
  • A Salt Lake County man between the ages of 65 and 84 not hospitalized at the time of death
  • A Salt Lake County woman and long-term care facility resident between the ages of 45 and 64
  • A Sanpete County man and long-term care facility resident between the ages of 65 and 84
  • A Sanpete County man between the ages of 65 and 84 and hospitalized at the time of death
  • A Uintah County man between the ages of 65 and 84 and hospitalized at the time of death
  • A Utah County man between the ages of 65 and 84 and hospitalized at the time of death
  • A Utah County man and long-term care facility resident older than 85
  • A Utah County man and long-term care facility resident between the ages of 65 and 84
  • A Utah County woman and long-term care facility resident older than 85
  • A Utah County man between the ages of 65 and 84 and hospitalized at the time of death
  • A Washington County man and long-term care facility resident between the ages of 65 and 84
  • A Weber County man older than 85 and hospitalized at the time of death

Carter Williams

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