HEALTH

ICU capacity remains close to 100% in Utah even as COVID cases drop

Jan 19, 2021, 4:34 PM | Updated: 5:16 pm
Utah ICUs filling up because of Covid...
Healthcare workers care for a COVID-19 patient in the ICU at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray. (Photo: Intermountain Healthcare)
(Photo: Intermountain Healthcare)

SALT LAKE CITY — ICU capacity in Utah is quickly approaching 100% statewide, even as daily COVID-19 case counts drop

While the rolling seven-day average of percent positive COVID-19 test results was 19.9%, just below 20% for the first time since early November, the increased number of patients in hospitals, and particularly ICUs, comes just days after the state reported its first confirmed case of the so-called U.K. variant of coronavirus. That strain, considered more contagious, raises concerns about ICU capacity in Utah moving forward. 

Limit gatherings, social distance

Dr. Brandon Webb, a Intermountain Healthcare infectious-diseases physician, said to better control COVID-19 and its latest variation, people need to limit their interactions with those who live outside their immediate household. 

“Those gatherings, especially indoors, are the most important driver of transmission,” Webb said. 

According to Webb, the U.K. variant of COVID-19 allows virus particles to bind more tightly in our cells than other strains. In other words, with the new strain, it may take less of the virus to cause illness. 

The best way to combat that, Webb says is to hunker down, practice social distancing and mask wearing. 

“We know those things — they do work,” Webb said. “And we see those borne out with the numbers.” 

ICU capacity nearly full in Utah

Out of 573 patients now hospitalized in Utah with COVID-19, the Utah Department of Health reports 216 require ICU or intensive care treatment. With Utah’s ICU capacity at about 88.5% full, the more beds required for COVID-19 patients in ICUs, means fewer are available for patients with other conditions. 


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet).
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities).
  • Obtain a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

Today’s Top Stories

Health

Turkey and cattle farms near Moroni, Utah. Three additional cases of avian influenza have been conf...
Mark Jones

Three additional cases of avian influenza confirmed in Sanpete County

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food announced Friday that three additional cases of avian influenza have been confirmed on turkey farms in Sanpete County.
1 day ago
A sign for the Food and Drug Administration is seen outside of the headquarters in July 2020 in Whi...
Jacqueline Howard, CNN

ALS drug gets FDA approval despite uncertainty about effectiveness

The US Food and Drug Administration approved a new treatment for ALS on Thursday.
1 day ago
university of utah...
Mark Jones

University of Utah Health among the nation’s top 10 for 13th year in row

The 2022 Vizient Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Award has ranked University of Utah Health in the top 10 for the 13th straight year.
2 days ago
intermountain healthcare...
Mark Jones

Name change coming to Intermountain Healthcare next year

In 2023, Intermountain Healthcare will change its name to Intermountain Health.
4 days ago
ovarian cancer...
Simone Seikaly

A new chance for a fighting chance against ovarian cancer

What may be most alarming about ovarian cancer is that the symptoms are there, but they are quiet and can be mistaken for something else.
4 days ago
Lincoln Beach pictured. Two shooting at Utah Lake happened near this beach....
Simone Seikaly

Utah County Health issues warning about harmful algal blooms

Utah County officials have detected high levels of harmful algal blooms at multiple Utah Lake marinas and beaches.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
ICU capacity remains close to 100% in Utah even as COVID cases drop