HEALTH

Salt Lake County in low COVID transmission, at risk for new variant spike

Mar 21, 2022, 5:24 PM | Updated: Aug 2, 2022, 12:40 pm
Health Department COVID transmission...
Department of Health building in Salt Lake City. Photo credit: Paul Nelson.

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — Salt Lake County is now in low COVID-19 transmission. But the county may not be out of the woods with a new variant making the rounds. 

“Because B.A. 2 is more transmissible and because just over 60% of Salt Lake County’s population isn’t up to date [on vaccinations] – meaning boosted –  that’s a large potential for another spike, another surge in cases,” Nicholas Rupp, Salt Lake County Health Department spokesman, told KSL NewsRadio.

Good and bad news with new variant

The good news, Rupp said, is that the new B.A.2 variant doesn’t appear to be any more serious than Omicron, and, getting boosted offers significant protection.

“[A potential spike] may not impact our hospital’s system as severely as another variant would have such as Delta, but that doesn’t mean that it’s innocuous,” said Rupp. 

Rupp said right now, they’re keeping an eye on the new variant. He reports as of March 1, only 5% of cases in the county are the B.A.2 variant but they expect that number will grow.

However, the bad news is that it is possibly more transmissible, and it may be less treatable with monoclonal antibodies. 

“The overarching message about B.A.2 is that you aren’t likely to need those treatments and you don’t need to worry as much about transmissibility if you are up-to-date on vaccines –because it will protect you from B.A.2,” said Rupp.

Low transmission ‘should be celebrated’

Meanwhile, the county health department said the county moving into low transmission is good news.

“It means that we don’t need to be wearing masks widespread throughout our community,” Rupp said. 

The CDC recommendations for areas in low transmission are just two things, according to Rupp, “one, stay up to date on your COVID vaccine, and get tested if you have any symptoms of COVID.”

Statewide hospitalizations low 

The Utah Department of Health said 130 people are currently hospitalized with COVID statewide.

It’s been almost exactly a year since Utah had so few patients in the hospital with COVID-19.

The last time Utah hit that number was March 25, 2021.

Related:

Today’s Top Stories

Health

red cross van...
Alejandro Lucero

Utah Red Cross urges residents to donate in wake of Hurricane Ian

All Utahns are urged to donate but especially those with type O blood. You can schedule an appointment online, through their app, or over the phone.
1 day ago
Intermountain drone delivery...
Chris Jacobs

Intermountain Healthcare and Zipline launch drone delivery service

A new drone delivery system by Intermountain Healthcare and Zipline is unveiled on Oct. 4. The program will service the Salt Lake Valley.
1 day ago
Mosquitos at a Utah lab are pictured....
Britt Johnson

Uptick in mosquitos in Utah caused by recent weather and temperatures

Mosquitos in Utah have seen a growth in population thanks to recent weather. While aggressive, they are not the disease-carrying breed.
2 days ago
Turkey and cattle farms near Moroni, Utah. Three additional cases of avian influenza have been conf...
Mark Jones

Three additional cases of avian influenza confirmed in Sanpete County

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food announced Friday that three additional cases of avian influenza have been confirmed on turkey farms in Sanpete County.
5 days ago
A sign for the Food and Drug Administration is seen outside of the headquarters in July 2020 in Whi...
Jacqueline Howard, CNN

ALS drug gets FDA approval despite uncertainty about effectiveness

The US Food and Drug Administration approved a new treatment for ALS on Thursday.
5 days ago
university of utah...
Mark Jones

University of Utah Health among the nation’s top 10 for 13th year in row

The 2022 Vizient Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Award has ranked University of Utah Health in the top 10 for the 13th straight year.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Salt Lake County in low COVID transmission, at risk for new variant spike