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College students, especially in Utah County, keep partying, and the state’s COVID-19 cases continue to grow.
The number of new COVID-19 cases in Utah was higher on Sunday, with 628 reported by the Department of Health. This number, combined with 658 cases on Friday and 5652 on Saturday, is the largest three-day jump in cases since mid-July.
The increase has been particularly pronounced among Eugans aged 15 to 24 years. People in that age group now make up 25% of cases, the second largest number behind people 25 to 44 years old (37%).
Health officials said on Friday that the Labor Day holiday and a historic storm have caused an upsurge in testing later in the week, which could lead to an early rise in cases. With the numbers rising during the weekend, however, it has become increasingly clear that the genesis is driven by Utah’s largest counties and their college-age people.
Tom Hudachko, a Health Department spokesman, warned, however, that it is too early to say with certainty what causes the outbreak in those groups.
“You can predict that [as] Schools come again and return to campuses and do not care that you will see additional cases. But of course we want to limit it to make it manageable, ”he said. “We definitely want to move in the other direction, but I think we need a little more time to play the numbers and determine if it’s a long-term increase or a little blurry on the map.”
The county is home to two of the state’s largest universities: Utah Valley University in Orem, which has an enrollment of approximately 37,000 students and classes began August 19; And Brigham Young University, which enrolls 33,500 and starts on Tuesday.
Salt Lake County is also a bit uprooted. On Sunday, it reported 200 new cases and a rolling seven-day average of 154.29. This is an increase of only 1.3 compared to the previous week, but far from its all-time average high of 301.57, which hit on 13 July.
The University of Utah, the state’s third-largest school with an enrollment of 32,700, reported 182 cases on Friday, from Wednesday to 16. Classes began on 19 August.
As matters are increasing, so are social-media videos of college-age people attending packed dance parties. Provo and Orem have many parties and often do not wear attendant masks.
And at least one party promoter, Young / Dumb co-founder Kiku L, said he plans to uphold city and state regulations about social ceremonies and wearing masks. Mask mandates are in effect in Provo and Salt Lake City.
L said, “The point of the events is that you know who shows up on your behalf, who walks on what basis.” “If you have a two-man parade, it’s not a reason anyone cares. But if you are 800 people in a party, then you know that there are 800 people who do not subscribe to the current narrative that social distinctions and masks are most important at this time. “
L stated that he believed that closing the business in the long run would do more harm than COVID-19 and cause more deaths as people would lose their jobs and possibly their homes.
L indicated that he had received messages from some college students asking them to stop throwing parties to reduce the outbreak of coronovirus so that they could continue taking classes on campus instead of online. He said that if this is a person’s main concern, “it is probably because you are a privileged white person and you just want to live on campus.”
He said, “The material left over from this recession will be worse than COVID-19.” “I think more people will die from recession than COVID-19.”
Hudachko, state public health leaders and government Gary Herbert say they are not arguing for the closure of businesses.
On Thursday, state leaders unveiled an accountability plan focused on reducing coronavirus case numbers and maintaining a strong economy. Called the Utah Leeds Together Accountability Framework, it sets economic goals to restore consumer confidence to pre-epidemic levels, raising unemployment claims by at least 50,000 a week and job training overall. At the same time, the state will work towards keeping the case number below 400, intensive care unit capacity below 85% and mortality below 1%.
“We will certainly encourage everyone to be responsible,” Hudachko said Sunday. “You can definitely get together and do it socially and socially. You know, wear a mask and try to maintain social distance, especially when you are in an indoor setting. People who are hosting events in indoor settings should do so to limit occupancy so that people can maintain a physical distance.
“We were definitely heading in the right direction in the last week of July and first week of September through August. We know that [precautions] work. We know that if we keep them going then we will keep moving in the right direction. “
There were no new deaths in the state on Sunday. Eleven people died in the previous week, half to two weeks earlier. The current death toll in the state is 433, and currently less than 1% of people in Utah who contract the virus die from it.
In addition, the percentage of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state is at an all-time low of 5.75%. However, the number of people currently hospitalized increased from Saturday to Sunday to nine, rising to 129. On July 11, the number of people hospitalized at any given time was 209.
This week, the state announced 12 more school outbreaks and 52 outbreak-related cases in 52 schools. In response to one such outbreak, Corner Canyon High School, at Draper, is revising its school schedule this week.