Healthcare officials urging Utahns to get vaccinated

Jan 6, 2022, 6:03 PM | Updated: 9:19 pm

crisis care standards...

File photo: Healthcare officials are urging Utahns to get vaccinated as COVID-19 cases increase.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah set a new single-day COVID-19 case record on Thursday and healthcare officials warned Utahns that hospitals are strained and urged them to get vaccinated. Officials from the Utah Department of Health and leaders from local hospitals spoke in a joint press conference on Jan. 6. 

Deputy Director of the Utah Department of Health, Dr. Michelle Hofmann, said in addition to breaking yesterday’s single-day COVID-19 case record, there are also more people hospitalized and in the ICU than yesterday. 

Tracey Nixon, chief nursing officer for University of Utah Health, said the University of Utah Hospital has already been dramatically understaffed because many healthcare workers have left the profession. However, due to the spread of the Omicron variant, the problem has intensified because more employees can’t work due to being exposed to COVID-19 or testing positive. 

“I am unable to care for the patients that we need to. We have closed beds in our hospital, one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever made. We are facing shifts where we are so understaffed, that our staff are afraid to come to work,” Nixon said.

Nixon said earlier this week she had three nurses leave because “they can’t do this again.” She said many of her employees are discouraged because they feel the current situation is worse than when the pandemic started almost two years ago. Nixon said the New Year is usually a time of hope but that hope is hard to maintain with case counts rising.

Dr. Arlen Jarrett, Chief Medical Officer for Steward Healthcare, said while everyone is tired of the COVID-19 pandemic, frontline workers have borne the brunt of the pandemic.

“There’s no one that is more acutely affected by this fatigue than our frontline workers in the hospital,” he said. “We’re so, so sorry that you have to be the witness to the suffering and sad departing of so many souls under your care.”

Jarrett recommended four things that people can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ease the strain on hospitals: get vaccinated, wear a mask, avoid large crowds, and get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms. 

“It’ll sound like a broken record because you’ve heard these so many times before,” he said.

The Deputy Director of the Utah Department of Health, Dr. Michelle Hofmann, said Utah is running low on supplies that help prevent those with COVID-19 from getting critically ill, including monoclonal antibody treatments and oral antibody pills.

“The one thing that is not in short supply, or experiencing significant wait times to take advantage of, also happens to be the one thing that is most effective at preventing cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. And of course, as you all know, that one thing is vaccines,” she said.

We want to hear from you.

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


Chief of Police for Price City Police Department, Brandon Sicilie, holding PeeDee....

Britt Johnson

Abandoned puppy finds a home at the Price Police Department

PeeDee, a puppy found on the side of a roadway during a dispatch call, has found a new home with the Price City Police Department.

4 hours ago

Lake Powell as seen from Navajo Mountain. The Navajo Nation is asking why their request for funding...

Eric Cabrera

Navajo Nation left wondering why funding continually denied

The Navajo Nation is asking why their request for funding for a road has been denied for the last 15 years.

7 hours ago

a box of food for food pantries...

Heather Peterson

Food pantries running low due to spike in demand

According to Feeding America, 316,980 people are facing hunger in Utah, and 93,050 are children.

11 hours ago

baby feet, utah postpartum retreat helps new moms...

Britt Johnson

Utah company aims to help postpartum moms with special retreats

The founder of Utah Postpartum Retreat said she thinks new moms are at high risk for developing postpartum mood disorders because they lack support.

12 hours ago

Example of a possible future salvage project on Lake Powell....

Derrick Jones

Lake Powell asks for public’s help locating possible salvage

Park officials want to know where sunken vessels were seen as Lake Powell reached record low levels.

12 hours ago

Power lines are pictured in utah, utah has lower electricity bill than other states...

Tammy Kikuchi

Study shows Utahns pay cheapest electricity bills in the country

Utah residents are paying less for power than any other state. Rocky Mountain Power says they work hard to keep it that way.

24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

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

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: 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.

Healthcare officials urging Utahns to get vaccinated