A daily record: 2,292 new cases of COVID-19 in Utah on Friday

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 set a new daily record for COVID-19 cases Friday, with another 2,292 Utahns infected by the coronavirus, the Utah Department of Health reported.

The state also passed another grim milestone, with three new deaths from COVID-19 reported — bringing the overall death toll to 601.

The three people whose deaths were reported were: a Salt Lake County man, between 25 and 44 years old; a Tooele County man, between 44 and 65; and a Davis County woman, between 65 and 84.

In a statement Friday, Gov. Gary Herbert noted that while Utah’s mortality rate from COVID-19 was below the national rate, “we must not become numb to what these numbers mean for our communities — for those infected, for everyone who loves them.”

Hospitalization rates and fatalities are lagging indicators, and Herbert noted that today’s 2,292 new cases could translate, based on current rates, to 115 hospitalizations and 11 deaths in the next week or two.

“This will cause increasing strain on our already overworked medical professionals, and leave even more families with an empty chair at their dinner table,” Herbert said, “and that is to say nothing of the long-term effects many more of these Utahns will face, even as they recover.”

Though Herbert said “we cannot be too cautious in our efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19,” he did not propose on Friday any policy changes to control the virus.

For the past week, the state has averaged 1,622 new positive test results a day, UDOH reported.

Hospitalizations rose on Friday, with 318 Utah patients concurrently admitted, UDOH reported — tying the single-day record. On Thursday, the department reported 317 hospitalizations.

On average, 309 patients have been receiving treatment in Utah hospitals each day for the past week. That’s 10 more than the average a week ago. In total, 5,395 patients have been hospitalized statewide for COVID-19, up 76 from Thursday.

Utah’s intensive care units were 72.5% occupied as of Friday, but the figure reflects statewide ICU capacity and does not account for different needs from city to city, or for certain medical specialties.

For the past week, 18.2% of all tests have come back positive, a rate that indicates a large number of infected people are not being tested, state officials have said.

There were 10,346 new test results reported on Friday.

Overnight, someone apparently shot out the glass doors of the UDOH offices in Millcreek with a pellet gun, Fox13 reported Friday. No one was injured and the damage appeared minor.

The incident happened hours after about a dozen people mounted protests Thursday morning and again in the evening outside the home of Dr. Angela Dunn, the state’s epidemiologist. Her address was posted on Facebook in a comment to a post by an anti-mask activist, and the post was later deleted.

Herbert, in a statement on Twitter Thursday, said he was “deeply disturbed” that Dunn was targeted at home. “It’s one thing to protest an elected official like myself, but it is completely out of bounds to protest at a state employee’s home,” he said.

This article will be updated.