Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image The Omicron variant continues to cause COVID-19 cases to rise.

January 19, 2022
Omicron continues to surge

Symptomatic people encouraged to skip testing, stay home for 5 days 

The number of COVID-19 cases in Utah and Tooele County continue to reach record levels as the Omicron variant continues to spread.

Gov. Spencer Cox addressed Utahns on the Omicron surge on Jan. 14 by a livestreamed and televised program.

Cox spoke about how fast the Omicron variant has traveled across Utah.

“The virus has changed significantly with this Omicron variant,” he said.

Cox also explained that the Omicron variant is two to four times more contagious than the Delta variant.

“Omicron is different,” he said. “The disease is much, much, much more transmissible; much more contagious.”

In the state, daily average cases are up from 1,200 (before Christmas) to more than 9,500 a day now, according to Cox.

The percent positivity in the state has also gone up from 13.2% to 36.5%.

On Christmas Day, there were 434 hospitalizations in Utah and on Jan. 13, there were 638. Daily tests have increased from 19,000 to 48,000 a day.

“The simple fact-of-the-matter is that given the amount of COVID-19 we know is in our communities, broad testing is not a terribly valuable tool for most people or for the response right now,” Cox said.

Cox’s office has been meeting with legislative leaders and members of the Utah Department of Health who have advised them that people who are symptomatic should not seek out testing. Instead, symptomatic people should isolate themselves at home for five days. Then, they should wear a mask for five more days.

“The virus is so prevalent right now that anybody who has symptoms should assume they are positive,” Cox said. “And almost anybody who has spent any time in public settings over the past two weeks should assume they have been exposed.”

Those who have an underlying condition that puts them at right for severe infection, those who are visiting a vulnerable individual, those who work in a healthcare setting or live in a congregate setting, and those who tested positive previously or are getting over symptoms and are seeking confirmation that infection has passed when exiting isolation should still get tested, Cox said.

On Monday evening, the Utah Department of Health reported that since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 750,334 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

They also reported that there have been 29,029 hospitalizations and 3,951 deaths.

In Tooele County, there have been 16,644 positive cases of the virus, 575 hospitalizations, and 88 deaths.

 

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