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Utah surpasses COVID-19 daily average goal 4 days after deadline

Sep 4, 2020, 1:44 PM
COVID-19 average...
FILE: Governor Gary Herbert speaking at a February press conference announcing the formation of the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games. (Credit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News)
(Credit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Utah surpassed its goal of keeping the 7-day COVID-19 rolling average below 400 cases daily on Friday, just four days after the initial deadline.

The Utah Department of Health reported 513 new confirmed COVID-19 cases Friday, bringing the 7-day rolling average up to 411 cases per day. 

Gov. Gary Herbert originally set the goal for the state to report a 7-day rolling average of fewer than 400 cases per day. While Utah met the standard before the September deadline, the rolling average tipped back over the 400-mark by the end of the week. 

This comes as the state reports 53,839 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak in mid-March. The health department reported five new deaths Friday, bringing the state total to 419. 

It’s not immediately clear what caused the slight increase in Utah coronavirus cases this week. 

Despite the rise in numbers, state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn noted she wants to see more testing throughout the state — expanding it to those who are not experiencing symptoms. 

According to Dunn, fewer people are getting tested now than when the virus peaked in June and July. 

“We definitely need more testing out there to understand where the spread is happening,” Dunn said Tuesday. “And to make sure people aren’t getting sick.”

Utah is expected to receive roughly 1.5 million rapid antigen test kits from the federal government, Gov. Herbert announced Thursday — which should increase testing capability throughout the state. 

As of Friday, the state has administered 679,716 tests with a 9.4% testing positive rate. 

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