SALT LAKE CITY– More than 800 Utahns have tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday, as the Utah Department of Health reports the majority of virus-related hospitalizations are among unvaccinated residents.
“Nearly all COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are now among those who have chosen to not get vaccinated,” UDOH said in a statement.
The department reported 873 new cases of coronavirus, one of the highest daily case counts Utah has seen since COVID-19 vaccines have been readily available.
873 new cases of COVID in Utah, hospitalizations on the rise
COVID-19 hospitalizations are also starting to climb, prompting hospitals to consider postponing elective surgeries to accommodate the rise in intensive care patients. As of Wednesday, 295 people are currently in the hospital with COVID-19, and 78.2% of all ICU beds are occupied.
In order to avoid a COVID-19 hospital stay, health officials are encouraging unvaccinated people to use the resources available to protect themselves from the virus.
“We have the tool to end the disruption and inconveniences of COVID-19 on our lives and the economy – vaccination,” emphasized UDOH.
More than 1.4 million Utahns are fully vaccinated, and 1.6 million have at least their first shot. Nationwide, over 168 million Americans have opted for COVID-19 immunity.
Along with the uptick in case numbers, UDOH reported four more people have lost their lives to the virus. Among those deaths was a female between the ages of 25-44. The other three COVID-19 fatalities were under the age of 65. The total amount of lives the virus has claimed in Utah is 2,424.
UDOH pushed back against vaccination hesitancy, saying the COVID-19 vaccine development went through some of “the most intense safety monitoring in history,” while multiple studies around the globe prove the effectiveness of the shot.
The benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of getting the vaccine AND getting COVID-19 as a disease,” said UDOH. “Vaccination is a safer, more effective, and longer lasting way to build immunity, including for those who have already been diagnosed with COVID.”
Additionally, health officials state the vaccine is key to keeping Utah open and ensuring in-person learning.
“Vaccination is key to keeping our children in school and free from the disruptions to their learning and extracurricular activities that we experienced last school year,” asserted UDOH.
In an effort to combat vaccine misinformation, UDOH is encouraging residents to seek out reliable information from “their healthcare provider and reputable health organizations.”
COVID-19 vaccines are totally free for residents 12 and older. To find a vaccine provider near you, visit here.
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.
- Seek out the COVID-19 vaccine.
Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707
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