A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at the Salt Lake County Government Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah reported 1,484 new COVID-19 cases and four additional deaths Monday, as health officials gear up to begin vaccinating teachers and school staffs around the state this week as part of Gov. Spencer Cox’s plan to speed up vaccine distribution.
There have been 103,547 coronavirus vaccines administered in Utah, according to a Utah Department of Health survey, 738 more than reported Sunday. The new governor said Friday the rate of vaccinations in the state has been “unacceptable” and announced local health districts would oversee distribution.
School districts and health agencies have been asked by Cox to prioritize teachers who are older or who have underlying health conditions for the vaccine. Beginning Jan. 18, all Utahns at least 70 years old will be able to get vaccinated.
Those groups follow front-line hospital health care workers, long-term care facility residents and staff, emergency services providers and first responders. Utah hospitals in Salt Lake City received the first doses of the vaccine in mid-December, just as health officials were preparing for a holiday surge of cases.
Another 4,737 people have been tested for the deadly virus in Utah, bringing the total tested in the state to more than 1.8 million, Monday’s health department update shows. The rolling seven-day averages for positive tests is 3,118 per day, and a still-high 30.5% for percent of positive laboratory tests.
Also on Monday, the state health department said free rapid COVID-19 testing is continuing throughout the state, including at new locations in Garfield, Iron, Kane, Millard and Morgan counties. Sites are chosen based on high positivity rates, few tests having been conducted previously, untreated wastewater sampling, among other data.
Tests are available to everyone, even those without symptoms. Utahns can register online at bit.ly/2X66scM, where information is also available on the more than 30 locations and their hours of operation. Registration can also be completed on site.
Results are being emailed in an encrypted file from CV19result@utah.gov and may take several hours after the test is done to show up, the state health department said, suggesting they be opened on a computer rather than on a phone. Those who don’t receive results or have trouble opening the email should call 385-273-7878 for assistance.
The rapid antigen tests being administered are less sensitive, so someone testing negative with symptoms or testing positive without symptoms are being referred for follow-up testing. The goal of the testing clinics is to more quickly identify people with the virus, especially those who may not know they’re infected, to help slow the spread.
Utah’s coronavirus death toll has reached 1,396, with four additional deaths reported Monday:
• A Beaver County man, between 65 and 84, hospitalized at time of death.
• A Utah County man, between 45 and 64, hospitalized at time of death.
• A Utah County woman, between 45 and 64, hospitalized …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News