Thursday numbers: As Summit County stays home, Utah COVID-19 cases climb to 402

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The COVID-19 virus (File photo: KUTV)

The University of Utah reports there are nine confirmed cases at the school. That includes students, faculty and staff.

The U has a COVID-19 reporting form to fill out if you think you may have been exposed to the virus.

A day after Summit County ordered residents to stay at home and cease non-essential travel, Utah's confirmed coronavirus cases -- officially known as COVID-19 -- made a climb to 402.

Summit County's confirmed tests stood at 103, including two visitors Thursday, with hopes the county can contain the spread of the virus. On the state level there are no plans to issue a stay-at-home order.

The county's public health director said Summit County is similar to Italy and New York City per capita with the virus that has caused a worldwide pandemic. A public health order from the county said ski towns have a significantly higher rate of the virus and Summit County has the highest off all the ski towns at 196 cases per 100,000.

The Utah Department of Health reminded citizens in a live update that the three sure signs of COVID-19 infection is fever, cough and shortness of breath. There are other symptoms that are showing up, but those are the three most secure signs. A spokeswoman from UDOH said it is anticipated that every state in the U.S. would reach it's capacity for ventilators to help those who aren't able to get enough oxygen from coronavirus symptoms.

The spokeswoman said Utah is looking at alternative to hospital rooms to ensure patients with the virus have alternative to extra hospital beds. She said if Utah's curve continues and follows the trend of other states, it will strain healthcare options, but the state and UDOH will continue to fight that with social distancing, testing and efforts to stop the spread.

Summit County's positive test rate is but to about 30 percent, much higher than state averages. She said the county is bearing the brunt of the infection currently.

The increase of confirmed tests has grown smaller in Utah in the last few reporting days, even with increased testing, but the state doesn't put too much stock in those numbers because of the virus' long incubation period. If the numbers held for two weeks it would be a good sign in Utah. Some healthcare providers have tested positive for infection but there aren't any that are known to have become sick directly from a COVID-19 patient.

The United States led all nations with new COVID-19 confirmed cases as the availability of tests returned more positive test results. Deaths in the United States at publication time were at 1,100, one of those from Utah. So far 1,863 patients have recovered after confirmed cases. With testing not able to keep up with demand, and with some of those infected showing only mild symptoms, it is likely numbers of sick and recovered are much high but not confirmed.

Of the 73 new deaths in the U.S., 19 were from New York, 18 from Louisiana, and no other states were in double digits. Italy leads all nations by a wide margin with 136 deaths per million residents. But Spain's rate is increasing, climbing to 89. Both nations' healthcare systems and workers are heavily burdened with the virus. The U.S. climbed in deaths from two to three per million in recent days.

From the Associated Press:

"We are collapsing. We need more workers," said Lidia Perera, a nurse who works with Núñez at Madrid's Hospital de la Paz, which has 1,000 beds.
This week, 11 of the hospital's 14 floors are devoted to caring for those suffering from COVID-19, and there is still not enough room: The patients with less serious cases of the disease are being put in the hospital's gym or in a large tent outside.

In Utah, Salt Lake County and Summit County health districts report the majority of those cases. Davis County, Utah County and Wasatch County, all adjacent are all in double digits. Four health districts that make up a large part of the state geographically, but not in population numbers, have no confirmed cases. A week ago on Thursday, March 19, Utah had 78 confirmed cases.

Utah numbers by day:

  • Sun. March 15 — 28
  • Mon. March 16 — 39
  • Tue. March 17 — 51
  • Wed. March 18 — 63
  • Thur. March 19 — 78
  • Fri. March 20 — 112
  • Sun. March 22 — 181
  • Mon. March 23 — 257
  • Tue. March 24 — 298
  • Wed. March 25 — 346

You can view up-to-date coronavirus numbers from Johns Hopkins University here.