Local health officials: “January is going to be pretty rough”

Jan 7, 2021, 2:00 PM

COVID-19 cases in Utah...

Local health officials are predicting that coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Utah will surge throughout January. (Photo: University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP, File)

(Photo: University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — Local health officials are predicting coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Utah will surge throughout the month of January.

Anticipating a rough January

The bleak outlook comes after the state health department reported over 3,700 new coronavirus cases Wednesday and then 4,597 additional cases Thursday.

Additionally, 537 people are currently hospitalized with the coronavirus, as statewide ICU capacity approaches 90%.

In a recent press conference, Dr. Eddie Stenehjem with Intermountain Healthcare explained this is the onset of a “holiday spike” that health officials have been forecasting.

“We’re seeing patients in the hospital presenting stories of, ‘Yeah, I had a holiday gathering, a couple days later someone got sick,'” he explains. “It’s those high risk individuals that we’re seeing now turn positive from exposure at the holidays and now requiring hospitalizations.”

He said if this is indeed the relative beginning of a “holiday spike,” then a surge of cases and hospitalizations can be expected for at least a week or so.

“We anticipate that the month of January is going to be pretty rough,” he said.

Controlling the future

The good news is that the statewide outlook beyond that point is still in our control.

“How long we see [cases] rise is really dependent on what people do and revert back to after the new year,” Dr. Stenehjem said.

Even though the statewide vaccine rollout is starting to gather momentum, health officials say it won’t be enough to get cases under control. Beyond receiving the vaccine, Utahns will need to stay steadfast with social distancing and mask wearing. 

“The year has changed, but the message hasn’t changed,” said Todd Vento with Intermountain Healthcare on Monday. “You need to still wear a mask and must continue to practice good mitigation and preventative practices to reduce community spread. This is as vital as ever.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.



Alex Cabrero

South Jordan residents react to thousands of tumbleweeds in front of their homes

As heavy winds blew through a Daybreak neighborhood in South Jordan, avoiding tumbleweeds kind of became a sport.

51 minutes ago

Salt Lake City International Airport is also being impacted by the winterstorm moving through Utah....

Mark Jones

Delays, cancelations reported at Salt Lake City International Airport

As of 7:40 p.m. on Saturday, airport officials said 146 flights had been delayed, which is 39% of the departing flights.

1 hour ago

Crews working on a power pole that was damaged when heavy winds blew through the area near Shivwits...

Derrick Jones

Power restored to thousands, work continues, after winter slams Utah

Rocky Mountain Power attributed the outages to power lines downed or damaged by the wind and snow.

5 hours ago

Dusk on the last day of the 2024 legislative session at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake City on Frida...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko

The Utah 2024 Legislative Session is over. Here’s what lawmakers did

Utah lawmakers made the most out of the 2024 general legislative session, passing 591 bills, surpassing last year's previous high of 575.

8 hours ago

Tumbleweeds surround an Eagle Mountain home on March 2, 2024. (Photo credit: Brennen Katsos)...

Josh Ellis

High winds hit Wasatch Front as storm moves in

Winds will continue to increase over western Utah valleys Saturday ahead of a front and spread into southern Utah.

8 hours ago

A lone camper truck moves north bound on the I-80 at the Donner Pass Exit on Friday, March 1, 2024,...

SCOTT SONNER, Associated Press

Blizzard ‘as bad as it gets’ hits California, Nevada. Strip of I-80 shut down

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning through Sunday for a 300-mile stretch of the mountain range.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Local health officials: “January is going to be pretty rough”