New daily COVID-19 cases drop, but UDOH says the numbers are wrong

Nov 13, 2020, 7:26 PM
New daily COVID-19 cases drop, but UDOH says the numbers are wrong vaccine distribution software...
(Steve Griffin, KSL file)
(Steve Griffin, KSL file)

SALT LAKE CITY – Health officials are reporting a sharp drop in the number of new daily COVID-19 cases, but don’t let that number fool you.  The Utah Department of Health says the numbers are “artificially low” because of a computer problem, and the rate of infection is still very high in the state.

Officially, UDOH says there were 14 new COVID-related deaths being reported Friday, along with 2,150 new cases.  That may seem like a big drop from the 3,919 cases being announced on Thursday, but department officials say Utahns shouldn’t be patting themselves on the back.


What Caused the Cases to Drop?

A problem with the database that tracks tests and positive results is the reason why the numbers appear to have dropped.

“We had a technical difficulty with it this morning, so, the number of cases we’re reporting today and the number of people tested were not a complete picture,” according to UDOH Spokesman Tom Hudachko.

Researchers say they don’t have any estimate on what the real numbers should be, but Hudachko says they should be a lot higher.

“We know that’s not an accurate number.  We know that’s an underrepresentation,” he says.

With the seven-day rolling average of positive tests being above 23%, Hudachko says they’re certain there are a lot more infected people that aren’t showing symptoms and not getting tested.  The department wants people to keep that in mind as they plan their Thanksgiving holiday.  They’re not asking people to cancel their plans, but they are hoping people will celebrate only with immediate family.

“Thanksgiving is going to look different this year.  The fewer people you are in contact with, the safer your holiday gathering is going to be,” says Hudachko.


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New daily COVID-19 cases drop, but UDOH says the numbers are wrong