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It was the worst week so far and employees are worried that it will be even worse.
On Sunday, the Utah Department of Health announced another 1
This was just the latest in a growing trend that shows how the Utah pandemic has spiraled out of control. There are a total of 23,368 cases for the week; since the beginning of the pandemic, Utah has the sixth most per capita case. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is a 10% increase over last week, which was also a record.
The six deaths on Sunday include:
- A man from Davis County, aged 65-84, who was hospitalized at the time of his death.
- A woman from Davis County, over the age of 85, who was a long-term care resident.
- A Salt Lake County man over the age of 85 who was hospitalized at the time of death.
- A man from Salt Lake County, aged 65-84, who was hospitalized at the time of death.
- A Washington County man between the ages of 45 and 64 who was hospitalized at the time of his death.
- A Weber County woman, aged 65-84, who was hospitalized at the time of her death.
The 77 deaths this week are also a new high, 18 more than the previous high week. For comparison, 77 is also the number of June who died on average in one week in 2019 due to heart disease number 1; this is significantly higher than the number of young people who die of cancer (64) or stroke (18) in an average week.
A total of 13,641 new people were tested on Sunday, meaning the one-day positive rate was 23.4%. With the new hospitalizations, 556 people are currently in hospitals in Utah due to COVID-19, according to the state. More than 90 percent of Utah’s intensive care beds are full, but 94.3 percent of those in major hospitals are used for recommendations in the state. This is well above the 85% threshold when hospitals say they are without nurses to care for patients under normal circumstances.
That number is a growing victim for Utah hospitals, both for health care workers and those who rely on them. Hospitals in Utah have begun informally defining care. In some cases, important surgeries and chemotherapy are delayed; nurses are asked to care for more patients than usual or to be relocated to provide care unfamiliar with giving.
This week, at least 14 new schools switched to online learning after 25 schools last week. There are currently 12,421 cases involving schools, including 3,453 in the last two weeks. Butterfield Canyon Elementary became the first elementary school to exceed 15 cases, forcing it to move to online learning. Two other primary schools switched to online education without exceeding the threshold of 15 cases because too many students were quarantined.
But now all eyes are on Thanksgiving week. The CDC is asking Americans not to travel on Thanksgiving Day, traditionally one of the busiest days of the year, instead of hoping to celebrate the holiday with only those in the same household. But Utah Gov. Gary Herbert refused to order Utah citizens to limit their Thanksgiving celebrations, asking for caution, but ultimately said that “what you do within your own home depends on you.
In these homes, health officials ask residents to wear masks during cooking, to limit the time associated with gatherings, or to increase indoor air circulation, or better yet, to hold Thanksgiving dinner outdoors. At all times, people should maintain a 6-foot social distance from each other while cooking or at the dinner table.
However, managing the number of attendees may be most important.
“I like to think that if a person in your home needs to get positive on a Friday morning, how many people will have to be quarantined?” Said state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn. “We want this to be as few people as possible.”
There may be an additional incentive for citizens to be as vigilant as possible, as the vaccine seems to be on its way relatively soon. Although the doses will not be available to the average citizen immediately, the head of the US vaccination program Operation Warp Speed, Dr. Moncef Slavey, told CNN that the first Americans – probably health workers – could be immunized immediately on December 11 after a potential approval just before that date.