State Department of Health COVID-19 Updates, Press Conf., Thursday, March 26
Confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Utah now exceed 400. The case count in the state increased by 56 positive tests between Wednesday and Thursday, bringing the total of residents who have tested positive to 388 and the number of visitors t0 14, for a total of 402 cases total.
This is the second-highest day-to-day increase of cases that the state has seen since beginning testing. The highest was on Sunday when the count increased by 81 cases. Overall, 7,710 people in the state have been reportedly tested for the disease.
State epidemiologist Angela Dunn said during Thursday's press conference that while the number of cases is increasing, the rate at which people are testing positive is decreasing. She said though that it is too early to know if this is a sign of the curve being flattened.
“It is certainly a great sign, but we still need to wait those 14 days to determine how the trend is really looking because we are just now finding cases that could have been infected about two weeks ago," Dunn said.
Dunn said while Utah is not facing shortages of intensive care unit beds or ventilators yet, the projections across the nation and the evidence in other countries shows that this is likely to happen as the spread continues.
"If our curve continues the way it is, and we follow the trends of other states and other countries, we will likely have a strain on our healthcare system and that is a serious thing so we are preparing for that," Dunn said.
As part of this, Dunn said evaluations are being made as to what sites could be used as hospital alternatives to provide care. She said right not crisis medical standards that include prioritizing or rationing care have not been put into place, but it could happen in the future.
"The idea that we may need to prioritize care among certain individuals, is a possibility. We are working hard to prevent that," Dunn said.
On Wednesday night, Summit County issued a stay-at-home order that will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday. Visitors are being asked to leave. At 95 cases, Summitt County has the second highest number of cases in the state, second only to Salt Lake County.