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COVID-19 Weekly Update, May 25, 2021


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Transcript of Dr. Good's COVID-19 Weekly Update, May 25, 2021

Hello, I'm Michael Good, CEO of University of Utah Health, presenting the COVID-19 update for May 25, 2021. Our common theme, that we'll see throughout the report today, is continuing slow decline in our charts and our statistics associated with the pandemic. For example, here on the national charts, we see continuing decline in the number of new coronavirus cases each day in our country, a little bit over 25,000. And similarly, if you look at the number of individuals dying each day from coronavirus, you see that same slow continuing decline, now approaching about 500 a day. Still, numbers larger than we would like, but the trends are declining and continuing in the direction that we want over a much longer period of time, but you do see continuing declines in the number of new coronavirus cases in the state of Utah. Now at about 270 on a seven day average, and we've been pretty stable at four to five deaths a day in our state from coronavirus. So again, stable, if not slightly declining, but still we'd certainly like to see further declines.

Active infections now approaching one in 500 Utahns. That means in our state, we have about 6,700 current infections, down substantially from the high point of the pandemic toward the end of last year. So again, continuing slow decline. We also see the number of active infections in our country coming down as well, as shown in the inset.

Actually encouraging news in our real time reproductive number, which tracks how readily the virus is spreading in our community. And over the last couple of weeks or so, the reproductive number has dropped back down below one. That means we're seeing a further slowing in the spread of the virus in our community, probably easier to see up here in the inset. So again, an encouraging slow, continuing decline in important measures of the pandemic.

The orange line is the number of Utahns in a hospital bed in our state with coronavirus. And that's hovering, there's a little bit of up and down, day to day variation, but hovering in the 130 to 140 range. Again, a little bit of an uptick here, but in recent days, a downtick in the number of patients in ICUs. Daily hospital admissions from coronavirus holding pretty steady. So again, steady or slightly declining trends in those being hospitalized in our state with coronavirus. Testing measurements, positivity rates the same, both by the people over people or test over test metrics, stable, or people over people, we're actually seeing again that slow declining continue, which is good.

Here at University Hospital, last week and the week before we were, after several weeks of having around 15 coronavirus patients at University Hospital, we did have an uptick in coronavirus admissions, shown here, but it peaked up and then came back down and with it, our hospital census dropped back to 15 and even a little bit lower here. I believe yesterday we had 12 coronavirus patients in University Hospital. So again, stable or slowly declining coronavirus in our community, and here at the University of Utah.

This chart is another representation of vaccine status by age group. So across the bottom, we show the various age groups and then each bar shows the status of that age group number. The percentage, for example, here in those over 80, we've got 78 percent of Utahns in this group fully vaccinated, another 9 percent that's had one dose and only 13 percent that have not been vaccinated. And you can see those trends even a little bit higher in the 70 to 79 year olds, 82 percent fully vaccinated, another 9 percent with one dose, and then 9 percent that have not. And obviously these were the first age groups to begin the vaccination program so they're the furthest along. And then you see the status of each of the age groups. We continue to emphasize the importance of vaccination. These vaccines are working extremely well. And those that we're seeing in the hospital, admitted to the hospital with the more severe forms of COVID-19 are those individuals who have not been vaccinated.

So we end with a variety of resources to help you if you are still not vaccinated and considering getting so. Here's a website: here are some examples of some of the materials that are available on that website. I again want to emphasize how well we see the vaccines working and it has really allowed the spread of the virus to drastically slow in our community and allow the resumption of a variety of activities of being together and environments where face masks are no longer required. We do emphasize that unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear face masks, but most importantly, please do consider being vaccinated with a coronavirus or a COVID-19 vaccine, just so that we can continue to protect you and to protect one another.

And finally, I'll close. Next week, we have a symposium, a presentation about research during the pandemic, how the University of Utah scientists mobilize to learn more about and how to fight COVID-19. The website on the lower right corner gives you more information on the symposium and how to register. We do hope you'll tune in, really some impressive things have happened in our scientific community, by our scientists and their teams here at the university. I think you'll really find this presentation enjoyable. Again, please get vaccinated and we'll continue to monitor the pandemic in our community and be back in a couple of weeks with another COVID-19 update. Be safe and be well.


Michael Good, MD

Michael Good is CEO of University of Utah Health, Dean of the University of Utah School of Medicine, and A. Lorris Betz Senior Vice President for Health Sciences. A professor of anesthesiology, Good joined U of U Health after more than three decades of teaching, innovation, and leadership at the University of Florida, where he served as dean of the College of Medicine for 10 years.

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