Vaccinations yield slight improvement in Utah COVID-19 counts

SALT LAKE CITY – Health officials here are attributing recent slight improvements in Utah’s COVID-19 statistics to the impact of the ongoing statewide vaccination campaign.

The number of Utahns hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment has declined steadily in recent days, from 160 patients on Saturday, Mar. 20 to 131 today.

In the same period, the number of new coronavirus cases reported statewide on a daily basis has declined from 467 to 383, while the 24-hour percent positivity of tests administered has dropped from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent.

At present, Utahns age 50 and older, plus those with specified medical conditions are eligible are schedule vaccination appointments with local health departments and other provider.

Also currently eligible for immunization shots are health care workers; first responders; long-term care facility residents and staffs; and K-12 teachers and school staffs.

The statewide pace of vaccinations is expected to increase on Wednesday, when Utahns as young as 16 will become eligible to receive the vaccine developed by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

Two other vaccines now available in Utah – those made by the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson drug companies – are only approved for adults 18 years of age and older.

The total number of coronavirus infections in Utah now totals 382,177. That number includes 17 new cases in the Bear River Health District overnight, bringing the local total of cases to 20,508.

State officials also reported the death of one Cache County resident overnight. He was a man aged 45 to 64 who was hospitalized at the time of death.

The new statewide case total resulted from more than 6,000 COVID-19 tests administered on Monday.

Nearly 25,000 additional doses of vaccine were administered on Monday, bringing the total number of statewide vaccinations to more than 1.178 million.

The number of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Utah is 16 fewer than Monday. Total hospitalizations since the beginning of the outbreak now stands at 15,323.

State officials reported 15 deaths today. Twelve of those fatalities occurred prior to Mar. 1, but were added to the coronavirus death toll overnight.

Five of those victims were over 85 years of age and were residents of long–care facilities. Two were residents of Davis County, two from Utah County and one from Garfield County.

An additional eight victims were aged 65 to 84. Five of them were residents of long-term care facilities, while the remaining three were not hospitalized. Five of them resided in Salt Lake County, while the other three resided in Davis, Utah and Weber counties.

The final victim was a resident of Utah County in the 45-64 age group who has not hospitalized at the time of his death.

In health statistics from Idaho, state officials reported their statewide case count jumped by 340 overnight to 177,761 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Five new deaths were also reported, bringing the state death toll to 1,948.

No deaths were reported in neighboring Idaho counties. The case count in Franklin County jumped by 2 to 1,110, by 1 to 337 in Oneida County and remained stable at 365 in Bear Lake County.

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