Nearly 80% of Utahns 70+ have been vaccinated, more counties move transmission levels

Mar 11, 2021, 10:58 AM | Updated: 12:29 pm


SALT LAKE CITY — Nearly one million Utahns have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. And the shots aren’t expected to slow down anytime soon. In a news conference Thursday, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson announced 79% of Utahns 70 years old and over have been vaccinated. 

“This is something to be very grateful for and proud of,” said Henderson. Additionally, Henderson reported 64% of people between the ages of 65-69 have received at least one dose, and 29% of 50-64-year-olds have received at least one dose.


Getting more Utahns vaccinated 

The governor’s office announced all Utah adults should be eligible for the vaccine starting April 1. Governor Spencer Cox also plans to lift the statewide mask mandate by April 10.

However, will enough of the community have shots in arms for the state to avoid another surge in COVID-19 cases? 

Cox said he spoke with Jeff Zients, the person leading federal vaccination efforts for the Biden administration, about Utah getting more doses of the vaccine because of its growing population. One of the reasons Utah isn’t receiving enough doses, according to Cox, is due to outdated population data on the federal level. 

And Cox said fast-growing states, like Utah, will be at a “disproportionate disadvantage” when it comes to vaccine allocation because there are more people residing in these states than vaccines. 

“It’s still good data. It’s just a couple of years outdated,” said Cox, noting the data should be updated sometime soon. 

On the state level, Henderson said a main goal is getting the vaccine to vulnerable residents, such as Utah’s refugee and home-bound population. 

“There is a lot of barriers we need to overcome,” including language, religion, vaccine distrust, said Henderson.

A switch to transmission levels 

Utah, Iron, Tooele and Sevier are the latest counties to make the switch to “moderate” transmission. 

Under “moderate” transmission, people may hold large gatherings with masks, and businesses can increase capacity. However, Cox was clear to say the move doesn’t mark the end of the pandemic. 

“It does not mean the pandemic is over, it means the virus is slowing,” said Cox. But things will begin to resemble a pre-pandemic world, such as tables at a restaurant being closer together. 

And even as COVID-19 restrictions loosen, Cox said the mask mandate will not disappear entirely on April 10. For example, students will still have to wear masks inside the classroom. 

Cox also advised businesses not to ditch the mask requirement either.

A look at coronavirus case counts 

The coronavirus in Utah isn’t gone but is plateauing, according to state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn. The state reported 646 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, along with 23 additional deaths, surpassing more than 2,000 coronavirus deaths in Utah. 

Within the past week, Utah’s case positivity rate declined by 10%. The current 7-day rolling average for percent positivity of “people over people” is 8.44%, with an average of 524 cases per day. 

Hospitalizations are down to 167 and 66 people are in an intensive care unit, however, Dr. Dunn noted ICU stays are continuing to decline. 

Dr. Dunn announced confirmed cases of the COVID-19 variant, also known as the UK variant, will be added to the state’s coronavirus dashboard. Currently, around 70 people have tested positive for the variant. 

“It [COVID-19 variant] does cause more severe disease,” warned Dr. Dunn.

However, the good news is the authorized COVID-19 vaccines protect against the variant. 

“It is so important to get the vaccine when you’re offered,” said Dr. Dunn.  

We want to hear from you.

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

All News

Cloud Seeding (Utah Department of Natural Resources Division of Water Resources)...

Lindsay Aerts

State preps for cloud seeding incoming winter storm

SALT LAKE CITY — With winter weather expected Friday morning, Utah is preparing to maximize the water it can pull from the clouds. Cloud seeding is a technique the state uses to release natural chemicals into the clouds to pull more moisture out of them. Utah has an extensive network of cloud seeding stations and […]

5 hours ago

Dan Whalen, vice president of design and development for Harbor Bay Ventures, shows a rendering of ...

Carter Williams,

Developers unveil 240-foot Sugar House building, sparking criticism from many residents

SALT LAKE CITY — Developers behind a proposal to create a new zone for their property that would nearly triple the maximum height allowed in the Sugar House neighborhood’s business district contend their project won’t be quite as high as the possible 305-foot maximum. However, what they presented Wednesday drew audible gasps and groans from […]

6 hours ago

eight-year-old falls from second-story window in Eagle Mountain...

Derrick Jones

Eight-year-old falls from second-story window in Eagle Mountain

eight-year-old falls from second-story window in Eagle Mountain

7 hours ago

Poinsettias are displayed during Christmas mass at The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels...

Derrick Jones

Poinsettias, the Christmas flower, have a long history

Poinsettias have become synonymous with Christmastime, but that's not all the beautiful red and green flowers are known for.

7 hours ago

Lt. Governor Deidre Henderson speaks at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. ...

Simone Seikaly

Utah Lt. Gov. extends filing deadline for unaffiliated presidential candidates

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson has agreed to extend the Utah filing deadline for unaffiliated presidential candidates to March 5, 2024.

10 hours ago

wildlife overpasses...

Curt Gresseth

Feds give Utah $5.5M to build wildlife crossings near Kanab

A UDOT wildlife expert discusses building successful animal crossings to reduce collisions with vehicles.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

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

Visit Bear Lake

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.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Nearly 80% of Utahns 70+ have been vaccinated, more counties move transmission levels