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Utah reports 1,585 new COVID-19 cases as 7-day average continues to drop

Hospitalizations remain high in Beehive State; death toll rises by 8 to 1,493 since pandemic began

Shixian Wang, a pharmacist with Red Rock Pharmacy, fills a syringe with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at The Ridge Foothill senior living facility in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020.
Shixian Wang, a pharmacist with Red Rock Pharmacy, fills a syringe with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at The Ridge Foothill senior living facility in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah health officials reported 1,585 new COVID-19 cases and eight more deaths Sunday, but while case counts are dropping, hospitalizations have remained consistently high.

The average daily case numbers are showing a significant drop from a week ago, with the rolling seven-day average for positive tests at 2,209 and positivity rate at 22.6%, according to the Utah Department of Health daily report. On Jan. 10, the rolling seven-day average for positive tests was 3,212 per day while the positivity rate was 31.5%.

Yet there are 557 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19, and according to the health department coronavirus website, referral hospital intensive care beds are at 101% capacity. Statewide, ICU beds are 97.4% full, with 515 out of 529 beds in use.

The numbers appear to be climbing back toward the peak hospitalizations seen in mid-December, when ICU occupancy hit 104%.

Since the pandemic started, 12,518 Utahns have had to be hospitalized to treat the disease.

The state has tested just over 1.9 million residents, with 7,199 added in Sunday’s numbers. A total of 323,837 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the outbreak began last year.

Another 4,661 COVID-19 vaccinations were given since Saturday, bringing the state’s number of doses administered to 157,170.

The state’s death toll stands at 1,493, with eight deaths reported Sunday, seven men and a woman. They were:

• A Carbon County man between 65-84, hospitalized at time of death.

• An Iron County woman between 65-84, long-term care facility resident.

• A Millard County man between 65-84, hospitalized at time of death.

• Two Utah County men between 45-64, both hospitalized at time of death.

• A Utah County man between 65-84, hospitalized at time of death.

• A Washington County man between 65-84, hospitalized at time of death.

• A Washington County man older than 85, hospitalized at time of death.