Gov. Herbert gives COVID-19 update; nearly 600 now hospitalized; 11 more deaths, almost 4K new cases in past day

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UTAH, Dec. 3, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Department of Health on Thursday reported 11 more COVID-19 deaths and 3,945 new lab-confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, and 597 patients are currently hospitalized.

“We’re at the the brim,” Gov. Gary Herbert said of hospitalizations at a Thursday news conference. “We’re really at maximum capacity. The hospitals can only accommodate so many of us, so that’s a concern.”

Herbert said cases showed a slight decline just prior to Thanksgiving and related gatherings, “but we’re on an uptick now, and we can’t let our guard down.”

Herbert and healthcare leaders had urged Utahns to avoid large gatherings associated with the holiday.

The governor again stressed the importance of wearing masks, proper hygiene and social distancing.

Herbert said the first vaccines should begin arriving in December and, once approved, will be available to frontline healthcare workers.

By spring, Herbert said, he is hopeful that all Utahns who want the vaccine should be able to get it.

“It’s easy to get discouraged, but there are reasons to be hopeful,” Herbert said. “We are going through a tough stretch right now.”

State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn agreed.

“We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so the next few months we really need to hold steady,” she said, reiterating guidelines involving masks and other protocols.

Dunn also talked about the change in Center for Disease Control guidelines, which now suggest a 10-day quarantine after COVID-19 exposure rather than the previous 14-day quarantine. Those who test on day seven and receive negative results can end quarantine at that point, she said.

Dunn also noted that current projections for when people can be vaccinated apply to adults. Tests are underway to determine whether the vaccines will also be safe for children.

Deaths

The Utahns whose deaths were reported in the past 24 hours were:

  • A Washington County woman between 65 and 84, not hospitalized at time of death
  • A Weber County woman between ages 45 and 64, a resident of a long-term care facility
  • A Carbon County man older than 85, hospitalized
  • Two Salt Lake County men, 65 to 84, hospitalized
  • Two Salt Lake County men between ages 65 and 84, not hospitalized
  • A Salt Lake County man older than 85, hospitalized
  • A Utah County man between 45 and 64, a resident of a long-term care facility
  • A Utah County man between 65 and 84, not hospitalized
  • A Weber County man, older than 85, a resident of a long-term care facility

The deaths reported today bring Utah’s total COVID-19 fatalities to 917. Total confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic stand at 206,165. Coronavirus hospitalizations since the start number 8,548.

Tests performed to check for virus number 1,454,844. Of those, 13,185 people tested since Wednesday.

The rolling seven-day average for positive tests is 2,627 per day. The rolling seven-day average for percent of positive laboratory tests is 24.2%.

The chart below shows the numbers broken down by area of the state:

Source: Utah Department of Health

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