The number of new COVID-19 cases remains low in Utah: 651 on Friday, the 13th in the past two weeks, the number has been below 1,000.
However, the state recorded 17 new deaths from the virus, although eight of them occurred before February 5. Hospitalizations and intensive care unit patients also increased slightly on Friday.
Vaccine dose administered the day before / total doses administered • 22,092 / 682,536.
Number of Utahns who have received two doses • 239,877.
Cases reported the day before • 651.
Deaths reported the day before • 17; eight of them occurred before February 5.
• Nine from Salt Lake County: two men ages 45-64; one man and two women, each aged 65 to 84; two men and two women, each 85 years or older.
• Two Utah County residents: a male age 85 or older and a female age 45-64.
• Two Weber County residents: a man and a woman, each 85 years or older.
• Two men, ages 45-64: one from Iron County and one from Tooele County.
• A Uintah County woman age 85 or older and a Washington County man age 65 to 84.
Hospitalizations reported the day before • 231. That’s 10 more than Thursday. Of those currently hospitalized, 94 are in intensive care units, seven more than on Thursday.
Tests reported the day before • 5,498 people were tested for the first time. A total of 15,599 people were evaluated.
Percentage of positive tests • According to the original state method, the rate is 11.8%. That’s slightly lower than the seven-day average of 12.3%.
His new method counts all test results, including repeated tests on the same individual. Friday’s rate is now at 4.2%, lower than the seven-day average of 5.6%.
Totals to date • 370,084 cases; 1,907 deaths; 14,628 hospitalizations; 2,194,674 people tested; 3,781,119 tests performed.
Dr. Mark Briesacher, Intermountain Healthcare’s chief medical officer, said Friday that he is excited that a third vaccine, made by Johnson & Johnson, will be available in Utah next week.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Briesacher said during Intermountain’s weekly COVID-19 community briefing on Facebook Live, is 85% effective in preventing serious cases, which could lead to hospitalization or death. The Federal Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve emergency use of the new vaccine as early as Saturday.
“Does it prevent serious and critical illnesses? Does it prevent deaths? The answer to those things is ‘yes,’ ”Briesacher said.
“It’s going to be really good for Utah, overall, because it’s a simpler vaccine” than the Pfizer or Modern versions now available, Briesacher said. “It is just a single dose. It is more easily stored. That gives us a lot of flexibility to focus on delivering this equitably across the state. “
The prospect of three available vaccines for COVID-19 is a long way from February 28, 2020, a year ago this Sunday, when Briesacher participated in the state’s first incident command meeting, “all focused on preparing to accept that first. [COVID-19] empanadas in Utah, ”he said.
“It has been a tough and challenging year,” Briesacher said. “We are all going to look back on this year and think of it as some of the most challenging times and some of the most rewarding times. … And yet we are in a great place where there is a lot of optimism about the future. “