Utah confirms 6776 new COVID-19 cases, 10 additional deaths over past week – KSL.com

Registered nurse Erin Olpin draws a COVID-19 vaccination dose at the Legacy Events Center in Farmington on Jan. 24. Utah health officials reported 6,776 new COVID-19 cases and 10 additional deaths over the past seven days. (Mengshin Lin, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah continues to see a small increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, consistent with the ongoing summer surge of the disease.

The Utah Department of Health on Thursday reported 6,776 new COVID-19 cases and 10 additional deaths from the past seven days.

The weekly average for new cases is 968 each day. That is just slightly above the average the previous week, which was 932 cases each day.

State data does not include numbers do not include those who took at-home tests for COVID-19, or who were asymptomatic and/or did not test.

Hospitalizations continue to rise slowly, according to Thursday’s report. There are 215 patients who are hospitalized with the coronavirus across Utah, an increase of 23 since Thursday last week. Data shows 39 patients are in the intensive care unit for confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The percentage of people who visited the emergency room and had COVID-19 this week also increased slightly to 4.61% compared to 4.25% last week.

Though some metrics show increases, wastewater testing — which public health officials are depending on to get an accurate picture of the current COVID-19 situation, as far fewer people are getting tested — showed a decrease for the first time in several weeks.

Now 47.1% of wastewater testing sites have confirmed elevated or increasing virus levels, compared to a high of 73.5% the previous week.

While the stealth omicron variant — which doctors believe to be more transmissible but less deadly than previous variants, remains prominent — a new subvariant is beginning to account for many of the latest cases, state health department data shows.

The variant BA.2.12.1, another strain of omicron, started to become dominant across the U.S. in late spring, overtaking the stealth omicron variant. Data show it began catching up with stealth omicron in early May. While research on the new variant is still underway, experts say that, like omicron, it appears highly transmissible but less severe. The variant may also be more likely to cause reinfection, compared to other variants, Vox reported.

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Ashley Imlay covers state politics and breaking news for KSL.com. A lifelong Utahn, Ashley has also worked as a reporter for the Deseret News and is a graduate of Dixie State University.

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