Dr. Angela Dunn, govt director at Salt Lake County Well being Division, left, speaks on Aug. 10, 2021. Dunn issued new COVID-19 recommends Monday as case charges drop and federal public well being specialists modified their tips. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret Information)
Estimated learn time: 5-6 minutes
SOUTH SALT LAKE — The highest well being official in Utah’s most-populated county is shaking up her COVID-19 prevention suggestions as the speed of latest instances continues to fall to pre-omicron surge ranges statewide.
Dr. Angela Dunn, Salt Lake County Well being Division director, unveiled a brand new set of suggestions Monday following modifications introduced by the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention on Friday.
The Utah Division of Well being on Monday reported 896 new instances of COVID-19 statewide since Friday, in addition to three new deaths.
“We’ve got undoubtedly seen a drastic decline in the precise course and now’s the time to begin rolling again a few of these tips — no less than for the near-term,” Dunn stated, throughout a briefing about her choice Monday afternoon.
Dunn’s suggestions focus extra on vaccination standing and fewer on the wide-scale use of masks. As an example, Dunn says residents needs to be “updated” with getting the COVID-19 vaccine, corresponding to getting a booster shot when eligible.
Residents are additionally inspired to keep up a wholesome life-style, together with good diet and common train. As well as, anybody who experiences COVID-19 signs ought to proceed to isolate themselves.
“Our COVID isolation steerage has not modified,” she defined. “So when you’ve got signs constant to COVID, keep residence for 5 days after which put on a masks in public for an extra 5 days.”
New COVID-19 instances in Utah are again to the place they have been earlier than the dramatic spike of omicron-variant instances that started in late December and peaked in mid-January. Utah’s seven-running common of latest instances is now 438 instances from the height in January, which topped out at near 11,000 instances per day.
That is additionally true of Salt Lake County, the place the speed of latest COVID-19 instances dropped from almost 4,500 new instances per day at its peak in January, to 200 new instances countywide this week. The seven-day common of latest hospitalizations within the county is now 9, in comparison with 53 in January.
Salt Lake County is now thought-about to be in a “medium” transmission degree, per CDC requirements. Which means residents are inspired to resolve whether or not they need to put on a masks primarily based on their very own threat of great COVID-19 an infection or the chance of somebody near them.
Excessive-filtration masks are nonetheless really useful indoors for individuals with “sure private circumstances.” Dunn explains that would imply a member of the family, co-worker or shut pal that could be at the next threat for severe sickness.
Whereas the modifications introduced over the previous few days are an enormous shift because the pandemic started, Dunn warned it is doable the suggestions could be adjusted sooner or later, particularly given the unpredictability the coronavirus has created over the previous two years.
I am unable to promise there will not be one other wave, one other surge, one other variant that causes us to alter our COVID suggestions as soon as once more.
–Dr. Angela Dunn
“I am unable to promise there will not be one other wave, one other surge, one other variant that causes us to alter our COVID suggestions as soon as once more,” she stated. “Nonetheless, I can promise we’re staying on high of the most recent science and the most recent variants throughout the nation and world to verify we are able to proceed supplying you with the perfect info and the perfect recommendation so that you can hold your self and your family members protected.”
The modifications additionally come after Gov. Spencer Cox, on Feb. 18, stated Utah is able to transfer its COVID-19 response to a “regular state,” with much less urgency. The state well being division will transition all COVID-19 testing to well being care methods by the top of March as a part of that transition.
Dunn provides testing — together with at-home testing — and therapy will proceed to be vital in containing any future neighborhood unfold of COVID-19. Residents who expertise COVID-19 signs are requested to hunt testing or in any other case stay at residence to scale back the chance of a future outbreak just like the current omicron surge.
Anybody at excessive threat for severe sickness are additionally inspired to hunt therapy early in the event that they take a look at optimistic, Dunn stated. Folks with the very best dangers might qualify for monoclonal antibodies or antiviral remedy remedies immediately.
As Utah nears its two-year anniversary of its first COVID-19 case, Dunn stated she does hope that the pandemic expertise modifications how individuals view public well being and the way in which they deal with viral sicknesses.
“One of many issues that I hope lasts from this pandemic is our consciousness of our signs and our want to not get our colleagues, coworkers and members of the family sick, whether or not it is COVID, the frequent chilly or the flu,” she stated.
Utah reviews 896 new instances, 3 new deaths since Friday
Of the 896 new COVID-19 instances reported Monday, 433 are from Friday, 336 are from Saturday and the remaining 176 are from Sunday. Faculty-age kids account for 105 of the brand new instances, in response to the Utah Division of Well being.
The replace exhibits how the variety of COVID-19 instances continues to drop statewide. The state’s seven-day common for % positivity utilizing the “individuals over individuals” methodology is now 15.4%, falling from a peak of 47.4% on Jan. 21.
All three of the brand new deaths reported Monday have been sufferers who have been hospitalized on the time of their deaths, together with:
- An Iron County lady between the ages of 65 and 84.
- A Salt Lake County man between the ages of 65 and 84.
- A Utah County lady between the ages of 65 and 84.
In the meantime, the variety of individuals hospitalized on account of COVID-19 additionally continues to fall statewide. There are at present 326 individuals hospitalized in Utah with COVID-19, 46 fewer than on Friday.
The share of intensive care unit beds occupied statewide is now beneath the utilization warning threshold of 72% because the variety of ICU beds wanted for COVID-19 sufferers falls. There are at present 73 sufferers in ICU beds due to COVID-19.
The state additionally reported 4,877 new vaccinations over the weekend. Practically 75% of all Utahns 5 and older have now obtained no less than one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, whereas about 66% are thought-about totally vaccinated. Near one-third of all Utahns 12 and older have obtained a booster dose.
Contributing: Winston Armani