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Utah COVID-19 cases still up as state pushes vaccination goal

A healthcare worker holds a COVID-19 vaccine.
A COVID-19 vaccination is prepared at pop-up clinic sponsored by the Davis County Health Department in the parking lot of Kent’s Market in Clearfield on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Another 462 cases of COVID-19 and one additional death from the virus were reported Thursday by the Utah Department of Health as the push continues to vaccinate 70% of the state’s adults with at least one dose by the July 4th holiday amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Another 462 cases of COVID-19 and one additional death from the virus were reported Thursday by the Utah Department of Health as the push continues to vaccinate 70% of the state’s adults with at least one dose by the July 4th holiday amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.

Currently, 65.1% of Utahns 18 and older have received one dose of the coronavirus vaccine and 57.1% are considered fully vaccinated, meaning it’s been two weeks or more since their final dose. Among all Utahns, those numbers drop below 50%.

Utah’s vaccination rates have been adjusted to reflect several thousand second doses mistakenly being counted as first doses, resulting in 0.85% drop in the number of adults with at least one dose, and a 0.6% boost in the number of adults who have been fully vaccinated.

All Utahns 12 and older are eligible for the free shots, widely available through local health departments, pharmacies and physicians, as well as some businesses. A list of locations is available online, at coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine-distribution.

To date, Utah has administered 2,809,865 total vaccine doses, a daily increase of 7,412.

“We will continue to push strongly toward our goal of vaccinating 70% of adults by Independence Day. The COVID-19 vaccine has never been more readily available or easier to get,” the state health department said in a statement. “We encourage anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated yet to make plans now to get vaccinated.”

The plea comes as the state is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, especially among younger residents who are slower to get vaccinated despite the likelihood the potentially more virulent delta variant of the virus that originated in India is becoming dominant in Utah.

There have been 520 cases so far identified as coming from the delta variant, first detected in Utah in April. The state has had a total of 413,008 positive cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began in March 2020, and there have been 4,190 people tested and 7,099 tests conducted since Wednesday.

That puts the rolling seven-day average for positive tests at 324 per day up from 213 per day on June 1. The rolling seven-day average for percent positivity of tests is 5.9% now when all results are included, and 8.9% when multiple tests by an individual are excluded.

There are 158 people hospitalized in Utah with COVID-19, bringing the total hospitalizations for the virus in the state to 17,372. Utah’s COVID-19 death toll has reached 2,337, including the loss of a Sanpete County man, between 65-84, who was hospitalized at the time of his death.

The state health department also announced Thursday that breakthrough cases of the virus in people who are fully vaccinated are now being posted online. To date, there have been 1,331 breakthrough cases in Utah resulting in 131 hospitalizations and three deaths.

“While no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people, Utah data shows the vaccines have been remarkably effective in protecting vaccinated Utahns from COVID-19,” health department wrote, noting “the vast majority of new cases are in unvaccinated people which is driving the recent increase in COVID-19 cases.”