632 new cases of COVID-19, 5 new deaths announced on Saturday

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SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Department of Health on Saturday reported 632 new cases of COVID-19 and five new deaths.

The new cases bring the total number of confirmed Utah cases to 28,855, with 1,797 hospitalizations and 212 deaths. As of Friday, the total was 28,223 confirmed cases, while 867 new record cases were announced.

Figures for Saturday bring the total estimate of the status of active COVID-19 cases to 11,958, compared to 11,756 active cases on Friday. It is estimated that 16,897 cases are considered cured, as these people were diagnosed with the disease three weeks or more ago and have not died. Two hundred and three patients are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, compared to 182 hospitalizations on Friday.

The average of seven-day cases in Utah is now 614, compared to 620.6 per day on Friday. The seven-day average of the cases is considered a more relevant statistic than the daily figures taken in isolation, as it allows state health officials to examine trends in viral transmission instead of daily fluctuations. Governor Gary Herbert said hospital officials believe 800 cases a day in the state’s seven-day average is the limit of health care capacity, and current goals are to reduce the average to less than 500 cases per day by August 1.

There have been 405,352 total tests for COVID-19 in the state, and the number of daily tests performed has increased by 9,378, 9.9% of these tests being positive, reports the Department of Health of the ‘Utah.

Of the five new COVID-19 deaths reported on Saturday, four were men who resided in Salt Lake County. Two of them were between 65 and 84 years of age, one hospitalized at the time of death and another resident in a long-term care facility. The other two men were between the ages of 45 and 64, one being hospitalized at the time of death and the other living in a long-term care facility.

The latest death was a Washington County woman aged 25 to 44 who was not hospitalized at the time of her death.

While the governor stopped creating a statewide mask mandate to achieve his goal on August 1, he encouraged mask wearing and social distancing. On Friday evening, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent an email to its Utah members asking them to wear masks in public. The email follows a call from 28 religious leaders across the state to wear a mask and social distance.

Intermountain Healthcare’s chief medical officer, Dr. Mark Briesacher, said “we are heading for disaster” on COVID-19 cases as Utah hospitals approach their normal capacity and some are heading towards their maximum efficiency capacity, which is reached when the beds are 80-90% full. MountainStar Healthcare’s Chief Doctor Dr. Mike Baumann has warned that the influx of COVID-19 intensive care patients may make it more difficult to manage other patients, and the current state of Utah reflects the Florida weeks ago. Some Florida hospitals have had to hire new healthcare workers and suspend elective procedures as they reach their maximum capacity.

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