Note: Saturday, the day after this report was filed, Utah broke the record of highest single cases in a day at 643 new cases.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Utah saw its highest case count of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
The previous record came on June 6th with 546 cases. Friday, the state is reporting 586 cases.
This is happening while nine of the 29 counties in Utah moved into the green health-risk phase. The rest of the state is in the yellow phase except Salt Lake City, which is in orange.
“Our risk of being exposed to COVID is higher now than it ever has been,” said Erin Clouse a Strategic Project Manager at UofU Health. “So it is truly just numbers. You are more likely to come across somebody now who has COVID than we were back in March.”
Clouse creates models from healthcare data. Some of those models show the spike of COVID-19 since Utah entered the Yellow Phase in a rolling three-day average.
“We had this steady linear growth until about Memorial Day, and Memorial Day hit and we saw more of an exponential growth since then,” she said.
The state COVID-19 Community Task Force tells us in a tweet, “With an unsustainable rise in cases over the past three weeks, we’re at risk for overwhelming our hospital capacity…”
The Utah Department of Health estimates there are more than 7,100 active cases of COVID-19 in the state.
Clouse believes we can lower the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask.
“If we compare our state, and our growth of new cases right now to our neighbor of Colorado, we can see that actually Colorado has gone down while we’re going up. Colorado has recently mandated mask-wearing,” she added.
As cases are on the rise, medical professionals like Clouse have some advice.
“I think we all have a responsibility. This is not a policy; it’s not a vaccine; it is not anything a single physician or health system can do; it’s going to take the public working together to physical distance, to avoid crowds, and to wear masks, to really be able to stay open, be open and see our case counts go down. I don’t think those things are mutually exclusive,” said Clouse. “Wear your mask when you’re out in public. I think it is the best that we can do, and it really shows respect for each other and our fellow Utahns, that we want to get through this but we need to do it together.”