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The next group eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Utah could help further curb transmission

FDA approval for ages 12 to 15 expected this week

SHARE The next group eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Utah could help further curb transmission
Doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared in Utah.

Doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are prepared at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy on Thursday, April 22, 2021.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

No new COVID-19 deaths were reported in Utah on Saturday and hospitalizations still remain low throughout the state.

More than 400,120 people in Utah have now been infected with the novel coronavirus, including 360 who tested positive since Friday’s COVID-19 update from the Utah Department of Health. The first few cases were detected in Utah 14 months ago and now more than 12.4% of the population has been infected.

The pandemic is responsible for the loss of 2,223 lives in Utah, according to the health department and the state office of the medical examiner, which screens every death for the once rampant virus.

Health officials have said that while disease numbers are low, transmission is still occurring and many areas of the state remain in moderate warning levels.

There have been 5,666 Utahns tested for COVID-19, and 13,011 tests conducted since Friday, putting that rolling seven-day average for positive tests at 342 per day. The rolling seven-day average for percent positivity of tests is 3.4%. when all results are included and 6.6% when multiple tests by an individual are excluded.

The average number of positive tests per day was at 380 about a week ago, and it continues to trend downward, the health department reports.

Since vaccines became available in mid-December, 2,284,307 people in Utah have received at least one dose, and 1,031,311 people are considered fully vaccinated, which is 32% of the state’s population.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said the state can soon celebrate the fact that 1 million people, or nearly a third of the state’s population, is fully vaccinated and can likely return to more normal activity after two weeks past their final dose.

Vaccinations are available to anyone age 16 and older throughout the state and are offered by state and local health departments, as well as partnering pharmacies and other private organizations. To schedule COVID-19 tests or to get a vaccine, visit coronavirus.utah.gov.

State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn, who left her state post for one at Salt Lake County’s health department, said on Thursday that it is likely vaccines will become available to people ages 12 to 15 sometime in the coming week. She said about 215,000 teens in Utah fall in that age group and with more of them getting vaccinated, transmission of disease should continue to decrease.

There are 139 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Utah, adding to the 16,340 total hospitalizations in Utah due to the disease.

See what else the Deseret News reported about the governor’s weekly update on COVID-19 here.

Resurgence of disease is happening in various parts of the world. Globally, COVID-19 has infected 156,496,592 people and killed 3,264,143 as of Saturday, according to the World Health Organization.

This story may be updated.