The new Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available to Tooele County residents and reports of confirmed COVID-19 cases drop to levels not seen since August.
On Saturday, the U.S Food and Drug issued emergency use authorization for the single-dose COVID-19 vaccine created by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson.
This vaccine will be available to residents in Tooele County by the end of the week, with 500 doses being shipped to the county, according to Jeff Coombs, executive director at the Tooele County Health Department.
“The arrival of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will allow for more individuals to be vaccinated each week,” said Coombs. “Additional sites will start to administer vaccines as the supply increases. We will move through the priority groups at a quicker pace and allow for all citizens of Tooele County to have access by the first of summer.”
With the arrival of the new single-dose vaccine, more individuals will be vaccinated quicker, because they don’t have to come back for a second dose.
Even though the Tooele County Health Department has vaccinated many eligible individuals living in the county, the county is still in the high category of the state’s COVID-19 Transmission Index.
Tooele County must meet two of the three top measures in the evaluation index to move to a moderate exposure level: a 14-day case rate of 101 to 324.99, a seven-day percent positivity rate of 5.1% to 9.9%, a statewide ICU utilization seven-day average of 69% to 70.9% , or a statewide ICU COVID utilization rate of 6% to 14.99%, according to Coombs.
Currently, Tooele County’s 14-day case rate stands at 374.88. The seven-day percent positivity rate stands at 8.99%, and the statewide ICU COVID-19 utilization stands at 17.2%.
The only requirement that is met is the statewide ICU utilization seven-day average. That stands at 70.9%.
“We have been in the high category for over 130 days now, which is consistent with the rest of the Wasatch Front,” said Coombs. “We have made significant progress since the first of the year and if we continue the current trend we will see changes coming in the near future. We are moving in the right direction. If people continue to follow public health guidelines and get vaccinated when eligible, we could move to a moderate category in the very near future.”
The Utah State Department of Health reported 257 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state on Monday. Six of those were in Tooele County.
Statewide this is the lowest daily total new cases since August 2020.
Health officials remain cautious and remind the public to continue to practice personal health measures such as wearing a mask when in public, washing hands, staying home when sick, maintaining an appropriate physical distance when possible, and avoid crowds.
According to the Utah Department of Health Tooele County had seen 6,549 positive cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
The county has also had a total of 203 hospitalizations and 36 deaths.
On Feb. 25., the Tooele County Health Department released their COVID-19 report for the week.
They reported that 5,902 individuals in the county had contracted COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, along with 199 hospitalizations, and 33 deaths.
This means that three individuals living in the county have died since the health department released their last report.
Utah State has had 371,492 positive cases of the virus, 14,724 hospitalizations, and 1,940 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
2,208,924 individuals living in the state have been tested for the virus and 721,029 vaccines have been administered.