Most state, local health orders end as Utah reaches COVID-19 pandemic ‘endgame’ goals

Corey Clark receives a COVID-19 nasal swab test at the Utah State Fairpark in Salt Lake City on April 19, 2021.

Corey Clark receives a COVID-19 nasal swab test at the Utah State Fairpark in Salt Lake City on April 19, 2021. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Utah has reached the COVID-19 pandemic “endgame.”

The state crossed the threshold in the three metrics outlined in HB294, also known as the pandemic “endgame” bill, Tuesday afternoon, according to Utah Department of Health officials.

That means that most state and local health orders are ending. The law passed by the Legislature in March set the end of those health orders on the day that Utah’s 14-day case rate is less than 191 per 100,000 people, the seven-day average of COVID-19 intensive care unit usage is under 15%, and 1,633,000 prime doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been allocated to the state.

The health department said the state reached the benchmark in all three of those metrics. Utah’s 14-day case rate is 163.4 per 100,000 people, the ICU usage average over the past week is 11.2%, and 1,656,025 prime vaccine doses have been allocated to the state.

“I understand HB294 has been controversial. Important, legitimate arguments having been made on all sides of the issues,” health department Executive Director Rich Saunders said in a letter addressed to the Legislature on Tuesday. “But today should give all of us reason to celebrate. No matter which side someone falls on, we can all be proud of the outcomes we have achieved so far.”

Though most health orders will end, the bill allows orders pertaining to K-12 schools to continue. The mask mandate for schools will continue through June 1 or the last day of classes, whichever comes first, according to the health department.

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“It’s important not to give up the ground we have gained, especially in our schools,” Saunders said. “We’re asking teachers, administrators, parents and students to please hang in there, and finish the year on a healthy note.”

Restrictions in counties that enacted their own rules, such as Salt Lake County, remain in place as the law allows local county lawmakers to set them.

New COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths reported

Utah’s number of COVID-19 cases increased Tuesday by 259, with 13 more deaths and 19,965 vaccinations reported, according to the Utah Department of Health.

Ten of the death occurred before April 1, according to the department.

The rolling seven-day average of positive cases per day is now at 358 and the positive rate when all tests are counted is 3.4%.

There are now an estimated 8,158 active COVID-19 cases in Utah, the health department reported, with 143 currently hospitalized, including 54 in intensive care, state data shows. About 68% of intensive care unit beds in Utah are occupied as of Tuesday.

A total of 2,204,824 vaccine doses have been administered in the state, up from 2,184,859 Monday. A total of 1,320,344 Utahns have now received at least a first vaccine dose, and 973,629 are fully vaccinated.

About 41.2% of all Utahns have now received at least one vaccine dose, and 30.4% are fully vaccinated.

Of the 2,574,992 people tested for COVID-19 in …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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