Total of Utah patients hospitalized with COVID-19 since start of pandemic tops 33,000, state reports

The state health department reports that 20 more Utahns have died of the coronavirus.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Health workers with the Utah Department of Health test the public for COVID-19 in the parking lot of the Utah Public Health Laboratory building in Taylorsville Dec. 30, 2021.

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More than 33,000 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, the Utah Department of Health reported on Wednesday.

There are currently 358 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Utah. That’s down 57 in the past day, but the cumulative total rose Wednesday to 33,024 – just short of the population of the cities of Cottonwood Heights and American Fork, and more than the populations of Kaysville, Syracuse, Holladay and Clearfield.

The Utah Department of Health also reported 614 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the sixth day in a row that the reported case count has been below 1,000. The state also reported 20 more deaths, including one that occurred before Jan. 23.

There are 92 people with COVID-19 hospitalized in Utah intensive care units, a decline of six in the past day. ICUs in the state’s larger “referral” hospitals were at 76.9% capacity, lower than the 85% threshold that hospital administrators have said is necessary to leave room for unpredictable staffing levels, new patients and availability of specialized equipment and personnel.

ICUs in those larger hospitals had surpassed 85% occupancy almost continuously since late August, but numbers dropped below that threshold last week. Overall, 71.8% of ICU beds across the state are filled, and 17.7% of ICU patients were hospitalized with COVID-19

According to state data, 60.9% of Utahns were fully vaccinated as of Wednesday. However, researchers have found that a booster is crucial to prevent serious illness – and just 26.5% of all Utahns have received a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Find where to get vaccinated at coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine-distribution. Find where to get tested at coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-covid-19-testing-locations.

Breakdown of updated figures

Vaccine doses administered in the past weekend / total doses administered • 3,921 / 4,932,252.

Number of Utahns fully vaccinated • 1,978,976 – 60.9% of Utah’s total population. That is an increase of 1,225 in the past day.

Cases reported during the past day • 618.

Vaccination status • Health officials do not immediately have or release the vaccination status of individuals who test positive, who are hospitalized or who die. They do calculate the overall risk ratios of these outcomes depending on vaccination status, which is listed below.

Tests reported in the past day • A total of 8,536 people were tested.

Deaths reported in the past day • 20.

There were seven deaths in Salt Lake County – a man between the ages of 45-64, a man 65-84, and three men and two women 85 or older.

Washington County reported five deaths – three men 65-84, and a man and a woman 85 or older.

Three counties each reported two deaths – two men 45-64 in Davis County; a man and a woman 65-84 in Sanpete County; and a man 45-64 and a man 65-84 in Utah County.

A Millard County man 45-64 also died, along with a Sevier County man 65-84.

Percentage of positive tests • Under the state’s original method, the rate was 18% in the past day. That is lower than the seven-day average of 20%.

The state’s new method counts all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual. Wednesday’s rate was 7.2%, lower than the seven-day average of 11.8%.

[Read more: Utah is changing how it measures the rate of positive COVID-19 tests. Here’s what that means.]

Risk ratios • In the past four weeks, unvaccinated Utahns were 8.3 times as likely to die of COVID-19 as vaccinated people were, according to a Utah Department of Health analysis. The unvaccinated also were 4.1 times as likely to be hospitalized, and 2.5 times as likely to test positive for the coronavirus.

Totals to date • 920,904 cases; 33,024 deaths; 33,024 hospitalizations; 9,189,583 tests administered.

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