Intermountain Healthcare explains what COVID-19 case spike could mean for Utah hospitals

Coronavirus Updates

Utah (ABC4 News) –Wednesday, The State Health Department reported a sharp spike in cases among people aged 15 to 24.

The state reported 747 new cases, one new death with a 18% positive rate on just over 4,000 tested.

Doctors at Intermountain Medical Center say the sharp spike was expected and could be caused in part, to schools reopening.

“What this is telling us, yes there have been outbreaks, and yes there have isolated cases and you can certainly point to those but we are seeing that if they are following the protocols that are set up in the elementary and junior high schools that they are remaining relatively safe. When you look at 15 and up that where you see the spike and that’s being driven by high school and colleges,” Intermountain Healthcare Infectious Disease Physician Eddie Stenehjem said.

Doctor Stenehjem says he fears the virus could get out of control with flu season approaching.

“We are seeing this spike now we anticipate seeing a rise in hospitalizations in 3 to 5 weeks because of this spike and we cannot have our hospitals full of people with severe influenza which we see each year,” Dr. Stenehjem said.

Doctors say in a few weeks, there may not be enough providers to treat an increase in patients.

A warning for parents with school aged children, if your students is experiencing some symptoms stay home and get tested. There are resources for people who want to learn more about COVID-19.

Also, a test that could test for both COVID-19 and Influenza.

Intermountain wanted to explain what the current trend of new COVID-19 cases in the state mean for Utah hospitals, frontline caregivers, and the community.

Intermountain Healthcare infectious diseases physician, Eddie Stenehjem, MD addressed the spike in a Facebook Live Thursday. See the full address below:

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