Utah reports 1,724 new cases, 3 more deaths Saturday – The Salt Lake Tribune – Salt Lake Tribune

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Editor’s note: The Salt Lake Tribune is providing free access to critical stories about the coronavirus. Sign up for our Top Stories newsletter, sent to your inbox every weekday morning. To support journalism like this, please donate or become a subscriber.

Utah reported 1,724 cases and three deaths Saturday, according to the health department.

The state’s death toll is now at 604. The three new deaths include a Washington County man, between 65 and 84 years old, who was hospitalized when he died; a Utah county woman, between 45 and 64, who was hospitalized when she died; and a Duchesne County man, between 25 and 44, who health officials said it is “unknown” if he was hospitalized when he died.

Gov. Gary Herbert tweeted Saturday that he met with Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House, and Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, who visited Utah as part of a tour of Western states, which are reporting the nation’s highest infection rates.

“For some time now, our data has shown that social gatherings are the main source of COVID-19 spread. Dr. Birx and Redfield confirmed this pattern is nationwide,” Herbert tweeted. “Because of this, committing not to socialize with people outside your household is the best thing you can do to stop the virus, protect our hospital capacity, and save lives.”

Herbert told Utahns to “resist the temptation to gather with extended family and friends this evening, and consider celebrating Halloween with a small party of those you live with.”

Redfield “confirmed that masks work,” Herbert said, and people should “wear one anytime you are near someone who doesn’t live in your house.”

“Many who are infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and never know they have the virus. Wearing a mask is a scientifically proven way to prevent additional infections,” the governor said.

Herbert added, “Utah’s situation remains critical, and we discussed targeted strategies to end the current surge in infections. We will share more soon. In the meantime, mask up, and protect your extended family and friends by celebrating tonight only with those you live with.”

On Saturday, 317 people were in the hospital, while 318 people were hospitalized on Friday, the health department reported.

For the past week, 18.4% of all tests have come back positive, according to the health department. There were 8,186 people more people tested since Friday.

Summit County saw its biggest increase in cases, at 37, on Saturday, bringing the health district’s total up to 1,495 cases.

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