Positivity rates dropping, but holiday surge likely not over

Health officials reported 2,276 new cases Sunday, two more deaths.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) University of Utah Health begins administering the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine as pharmacy resident Chanah Gallagher gets ready to give Christy Mulder, an RN in the MICU, her second dose on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021.

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Utah’s COVID-19 cases continue to rise, but fewer people who are being tested have the virus, which could be a positive trend for the state.

Early this week, nearly a third of tests were coming back positive for the virus, according to the state’s rolling seven-day statistics. That high of a number typically indicates many people who have the virus aren’t getting tested. More recently, though, daily percentages have dropped closer to 20%. While that could mean the end of the post-holiday surge, it is also the highest number of new cases reported on a Sunday in five weeks.

In addition, the state’s death count was small Sunday, with two deaths reported.

Vaccinations reported in past day/total vaccinations • 3,197 / 102,809.

Cases reported in past day • 2,276.

The two deaths reported Sunday • Both were Washington County residents, a man older than 85 and a woman between 65 and 84.

Hospitalizations reported in past day • 541.

Tests reported in past day • 10,056.

Percentage of positive tests • 22.6%. That’s below the seven-day average of 31.5%.

Totals to date • 305,999 cases; 1,392 deaths; 11,866 hospitalizations; 1,826,385 tests.

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