SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Health officials are bracing for a possible post 4th of July spike in coronavirus cases in the next two weeks after many Utahns spent the weekend with friends and extended family members but our skyrocketing case count is nothing to celebrate.
Utah has averaged 544 new cases per day over the past week lifting it into a Top 20 ranking that nobody wants. According to the Washington Post, the Beehive State is now 20th in the nation with 819 cases per 100,000 residents, ahead of states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
“I’m kind of surprised because I personally don’t know anyone who has the virus,” 21-year-old Abby Jensen said Monday.
Rodolfo Cordova says his brother and his nephew have been infected with COVID-19 and recovered. He fears he could be next.
“Everybody’s going to get it. It’s just a matter of time,” Cordova told ABC4 News. “So I’m thinking about moving to Provo because of it. My health is not the greatest right now.”
Dr. Lindsay Keegan is an Epidemiology Professor at the University of Utah who tracks and projects infections in the state.
“We’re sort of on this teetering point where we’ve seen some really high days and then we’ve seen it come back down,” Dr. Keegan said. “We’re sort of on the edge of an outbreak and it’s concerning.”
Utah is 43rd in the nation in Coronavirus deaths per 100,000 because of our young and relatively healthy population but Dr. Keegan and her team fear that if cases keep trending up our medical facilities will be overwhelmed.
“If we get to a point where hospital beds get to be limited, we’re going to see sort of what happened in Italy or New York,” Dr. Keegan said. “Where the mortality rate jumps way up because people are not receiving the levels of care that they are now when our hospital beds are not full.”
The state Department of Health says 192 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized across the state.
The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation projects that Utah’s intensive care unit beds will reach capacity this Fall.