Governor Cox reports that positive tests are down and testing is up

Gov. Spencer Cox speaks at his monthly news conference in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021 (Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune).

During his monthly PBS Utah news conference Gov. Spencer Cox explained where the state stands with the Delta surge of the coronavirus.

“Our positive tests are down about 20 percent in the state and so there are good indicators that we have summitted the peak of the Delta variant and are starting down the other side,” Gov. Cox said. “That’s welcome news, obviously for our hospitals and our frontline workers who have just been slammed over the past few weeks.”

He added that hospitalizations, which are a lagging indicator, are coming down as well and that a decrease in fatalities will follow. He said in the last several months there has been an increase in testing demand in Utah.

“We added staff to our testing team; we added more than 238 new staff to the Department of Health testing teams,” Gov. Cox added. “In June, we had seven mobile test sites; today, we have 16. We expanded locations and hours of operation; 12 additional sites were added over the course of the past month. Community testing sites added 169 additional hours each week, and sites have increased hours of operation.”

Utah Department of Health (UDOH) officials Thursday corrected reporting from Wednesday that indicated there were 110 fewer hospitalizations Wednesday than Tuesday. Apparently one hospital system in Utah reported very different numbers on Wednesday than they had provided in recent weeks.

UDOH said Thursday 566 Utahns are hospitalized with coronavirus, 15 fewer than on Tuesday and 211 are in intensive care, two fewer than on Tuesday’s report. Since the start of the pandemic total COVID hospitalizations now number 22,156.

Since Wednesday 12 Utahns died of COVID-19 and the state health department reported 1,704 new positive cases of coronavirus, 96 of those in Cache, Box Elder and Rich counties.

Since the start of the pandemic the state has recorded 508,494 positive cases. The total northern Utah case count has reached 27,576 while 26,159 northern Utahns are listed as totally recovered while 1,239 in the district have been hospitalized during the pandemic.

Idaho’s most recent COVID update indicates 2,854 coronavirus deaths and the new total of confirmed COVID-19 cases is 255,417 statewide. New case counts in the three southeast Idaho counties include 1,462 total positive cases in Franklin County, 595 in Bear Lake County and 461 in Oneida County.

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