HEALTH

Older Utahns no longer most likely to need hospital care for COVID-19

May 20, 2021, 5:13 PM
COVID-19 hospital care...
AUSTIN, TEXAS - AUGUST 07: Medical personnel train to receive Covid-19 patients at the Austin Convention Center on August 07, 2020 in Austin, Texas. The cavernous facility was prepared for use as a field hospital for Covid-19 patients, if Austin hospitals were to become overwhelmed. In recent weeks, however, Texas has seen the number of new Covid-19 hospitalizations decrease, even as pandemic-related deaths remain high. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY– Utah Governor Spencer Cox took a few minutes during his monthly news conference on PBS Utah to talk about the state’s success in reducing the need for hospital care for COVID-19 among the state’s oldest residents. He says those in the 65+ age group are now less likely to need hospital care than adults in the 45-64 and 25-44 age groups.

“In April and, of course, extending into May, it actually fell to third place. So that’s the good news. It shows that vaccinations absolutely work,” Cox said. 

The availability of vaccines for 12-15 year-olds increased demand somewhat, the governor said, with his 14-year-old daughter among those getting the shots.

Tom Hudachko with the Utah Department of Health says 77% of Utahns 65 and older are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which is a strong reason for less hospital care. They were also among the first eligible to receive the vaccines, adding the decline in hospitalizations for that age group tracked the vaccination rate almost exactly.

Hudachko also pointed out the rolling average of new coronavirus infections has dropped below 300, while about 15,000 people a day are getting vaccinated and often more than that.

On Thursday, Utah reported 266 positive cases of COVID-19, marking one of the lowest case counts since last June

Both the governor and the health department are urging Utahns who haven’t yet been vaccinated to get the shots, pointing out that it’s much easier now that walk-in clinics are available with no appointments required.

If you’re still on the hunt for a COVID-19 appointment, visit here to find an available spot closest to you. 

 

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