SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Story Update: June 14, 1:30 The national website rt.live now shows Utah as being number 9 in the United States for coronavirus transmission. The transmission factor shown is 1.04 which means despite higher numbers reported the state is doing a little bit better. According to the State of Utah, who uses hospital data and other sources any number higher than 1 and the virus is still spreading.
Utah falls to number 6 in the United States for coronavirus transmission. You can see where the specific numbers for Utah here, The state uses additional data available locally to add to the picture for health officials. Right now in both the States measurements and the national one Utah still has the virus transmitting rather than receding.
STORY UPDATE June 11th, 2020. This morning the national website rt.live Utah is shown as still being in the top five for coronavirus transmission. We will update Utah’s specific numbers today, and you can watch the State’s coronavirus briefing at 11:00a here on ABC4.com
UPDATE June 10th, 2020: The national website is now showing Utah to be the number 4 hotspot in the country. We have fallen back two spaces. Remember the state uses a different set of numbers described below to monitor the situation. There is a larger variance of the numbers. The bottom line is as long as there is a number greater than 1 the virus is still transmitting. Here is a screenshot of the new national chart.
Original Story as published on June 9th, 2020
A national COVID-19 tracking service is showing Utah as the number two state in transmission. It also shows a big increase since Utah started opening the economy. The state has exponentially increased in diagnosed cases, with more than twice as many cases as in April prior to opening back up.
According to RT.us Utah has a transmission factor of 1.11 with the only state higher being South Carolina with a 1.12.
The way the data is presented, anything over 1.0 means the coronavirus is still spreading. According to the website, there are 11 states where the virus is still spreading.
So what’s really happening? First, Utah has been starting to open the economy for a month now, we have had better testing, but in the last week, the numbers have been going up, with the biggest increase the state had seen announced Saturday, June 6th.
According to Google’s mobility report, the glaring thing since reopening is Utah has had a 131% increase in visiting our outdoor areas.
Are Utahns catching COVID-19 at a higher rate than in other states? Here’s what the state of Utah says.
Dr. Angela Dunn the state’s epidemiologist said in a briefing: “Loosening restrictions does not mean that the risk of spread is decreasing,”
This is holding true. On Saturday 546 new cases were reported the highest in Utah since the pandemic started. Because more places are open and Utahns are going outside more, the danger of contracting the virus is not mitigated.
We asked the state of Utah what the website’s numbers mean and there are differences in how the state of Utah counts the numbers, here is the response from Tom Hudachko the Utah Department of Health’s Communications Director: “Transmission rate is one of the core measures we track as part of our response. We measure our rate a little differently than the Rt sites does. We use new hospitalizations over a 14-day period to determine our transmission rate. Over the past couple weeks, our data indicate a transmission rate of anywhere between 1.07 and 1.25. We would like to see this number below 1.0, as that would indicate a decrease in transmission. Anything over 1.0 indicates transmission is still increasing.”
Right now although the state of Utah may look at its own data differently, both agree transmission is increasing.
Social distancing, masks, gloves, washing your hands, are all required now more than ever.
As of the publishing of this article 237 new cases were announced, with 3 more deaths.