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‘Another step in the wrong direction,’ says Cox in response to Utah reporting over 1k new cases of COVID-19 Thursday

Jul 29, 2021, 1:22 PM | Updated: 3:17 pm

utah cases...

Darren Peterson, left, gets the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from registered nurse Nichole Makaafi at a drive-thru vaccination clinic at Intermountain Healthcare’s The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital in Murray on Thursday, March 4, 2021. Photo: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY– Utah Governor Spencer Cox is calling the 1,113 new cases of COVID-19 reported by the Utah Department of Health Thursday “another step in the wrong direction.” 

Thursday’s case count is one of the highest daily numbers the state has recorded since February. In a statement, Cox said the majority of those who are sick with the virus aren’t vaccinated.

“Unfortunately, nearly everyone who is getting sick, and who will end up in the hospital because of today’s case counts, is unvaccinated,” said Cox. 

As of Thursday, 353 people are hospitalized due to COVID-19. Currently, 85.5% of all intensive care unit beds are filled, with 156 people in the ICU with COVID-19, according to state data. But the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations will surely rise within the coming weeks due to the consistent climb in case counts.

UDOH also reported three additional COVID-19 deaths Thursday. Of those three deaths, one woman was between the age of 45-64. To date, 2,450 Utahns have lost their lives to the virus. 

As a result of the spike in cases, 16 counties across Utah are back to the “high” transmission level, according to the state’s transmission index. On Wednesday, only seven counties were considered to have high levels of COVID-19 transmission. 

The counties labeled “high” transmission is as follows:

  • Box Elder
  • Cache
  • Carbon
  • Duchesne
  • Iron
  • Juab
  • Millard
  • San Juan
  • Sanpete
  • Sevier
  • Tooele
  • Uintah
  • Utah
  • Wasatch
  • Washington
  • Weber

‘We remain confident in vaccines’

In response to the uptick in coronavirus cases, Cox emphasized the vaccine as a form of protection against severe illness. 

“This pandemic of the unvaccinated is tragic because it is preventable,” Cox said. “It has never been easier to get a vaccine.”

Despite the jump in positive tests, Cox did shine a light on the growing number of people willing to receive the shot. More than 8,000 doses of the vaccine were administered since Wednesday, and over 1.4 million Utahns are fully vaccinated.

“We remain confident in vaccines to help us turn the tide,” stated Cox. 

The state still hasn’t reached its goal of having 70% of the population vaccinated against COVID-19, with only 46% of all Utahns fully vaccinated. 

However, state data shows a little over 51% of Utahns have received at least their first dose. 

Vaccine rates are higher among those who are eligible for the shot, with nearly 57% of Utahns ages 12 and up fully vaccinated.

If you still need your COVID-19 shot, here’s a guide on where to get one. 

 

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‘Another step in the wrong direction,’ says Cox in response to Utah reporting over 1k new cases of COVID-19 Thursday