Vaccine offers hope as Utah marks more than 2,000 COVID-19 deaths
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah marked a grim milestone Thursday, surpassing 2,000 deaths blamed on COVID-19, just as the state announced a major milestone for vaccine distribution.
State officials said nearly a million Utahns have been vaccinated for COVID-19 with at least one dose, with more vaccines arriving all the time.
But as of Thursday, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) attributes the deaths of 2,015 Utahns to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic–exactly a year ago.
COVID-19 deaths in Utah
Elderly Utahns continue to be the population most likely to die as a result of COVID-19 infection, according to the latest numbers from UDOH.
According to the latest mortality data, COVID-19 caused the deaths of 556 Utah residents over the age of 85 in the last year, a mortality rate of 167.02 per 1,000 cases.
The next most affected age group, 65 – 84, accounts for 1,022 deaths in Utah, or a mortality rate of 37.39 per 1,000 cases.
Young Utahns continue to suffer the fewest number of deaths of any age group in the state from COVID-19. To date, UDOH records just five deaths among Utah residents aged 15 – 24, and fewer than five for those under the age of 14.
The state does not provide the exact statistics for any age group with fewer than five deaths to protect the identity of those who died, so we cannot provide an exact number of deaths for Utahns under the age of 14. However, all of those deaths, fewer than five in all, involved Salt Lake County residents, according to the health department figures.
Where those who died lived
Only three counties in Utah can claim a fatality rate of zero from COVID-19: Daggett, Rich and Wayne.
A handful of counties reported at least two but fewer than ten total deaths from COVID-19: Beaver, Emery, Grand, Kane, and Piute. We don’t know the exact number of deaths because of the privacy rules preventing UDOH from releasing more specific numbers in those counties. For the same reason, we know Duchesne and Garfield Counties recorded at least three but fewer than 15 total deaths.
Every other county in the state reported deaths of at least 10 or more.
Urban areas typically recorded more deaths than rural areas, though the mortality rates in both areas does not differ by much. The average mortality rate for the state as a whole is 0.53%, meaning about half a percent of all people who tested positive for COVID-19 in Utah have died.
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.
Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707
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