COVID-19 cases continue to increase; health officials reiterate social distancing to limit spread

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Utah has surpassed 100 and health officials are reminding the public to practice social distancing.

Dr. Angela Dunn, the state’s epidemiologist, said the number of confirmed cases is now up to 112, compared to Thursdays 78 – an increase of 34 people.

The total number of those who tested positive for the respiratory virus in Utah is 2,147; and in the last 24-hours, Dunn said 621 people were tested.

Dunn said this week officials noticed a 50 percent increase from day-to-day, and in the coming days it’s expected that the state will see an increase of cases.

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And while it may seem alarming that numbers continue to rise, she said if the public continues to practice social distancing, overtime, there will be a decrease.

“So, you can play a part in helping end this pandemic by staying home when you’re sick and maintaining social distance and this will help us save lives here in Utah,” Dunn said.

As this epidemic continues to impact the state, Dunn said hospitals are experiencing a shortage of respirator machines.

She said the number of machines they have, or need is not something they are able to share with the public, but said they are working to get more.

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And especially with a shortage of machines, Dunn reiterates the importance of social distancing as it’s a way to limit the spread of the respiratory virus – which in turn, lowers the number of people in hospitals.

“There’s been a lot of uncertainty around this outbreak. But what we do know is that we are still relatively in the beginning of this outbreak in Utah and we can expect more cases,” Dunn said. “But we know that when we adhere to social distancing restrictions and when we stay home when we’re sick, that we will start to see a decrease in cases.”

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