Salt Lake City, Utah — According to Salt Lake Tribune, in just two months, the number of Utahns hospitalized with COVID-19 doubled from 140 to 293, with 123 in intensive care units (ICU) up from 56 in mid-May.
Now, the University of Utah Hospital is canceling some elective surgeries because of these rising numbers.
The hospital spokeswoman Kathy Wilets said, “We’re canceling several today and plan to cancel more tomorrow,”. Not all ICU patients are suffering from COVID-19, but the number of coronavirus patients is pushing the overall number of patients up.
COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in Utah and around the country as variants spread across the population.
As of midday on July 20, 42% of the U. of U. Hospital’s medical ICU patients were admitted with COVID-19.
“What makes this wave different is we simply don’t have the staffing to open up new COVID units as we did last summer and fall,” Wilets said. “We continue to urge the community to get vaccinated if they haven’t done so yet so that everyone can get the care they need.”
One way to see how effectively Utah is controlling COVID-19 is to look at the “test positivity” rate, which is the percentage of tests that come back positive for COVID-19; a rate of 3% to 5% indicates the virus is under control.
It has gone as high as 32.71% on Jan. 7, during the state’s post-holidays surge, but it recently has been dropping, hovering around 16%.
The percentage of tests for COVID-19 that come back positive is a leading indicator of the spread of COVID.