Southern Utah spikes to near record high in coronavirus cases

Photo illustration. | Photo by Zubada/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Southern Utah had the fourth-most coronavirus infections recorded in one day Saturday while another death was recorded in Washington County as the current spike striking from St. George, to the state, to the nation, to the White House continues.

Medical personnel administer COVID-19 tests at the Intermountain drive-thru coronavirus testing site at the 400 East Campus of Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Utah, on Sept. 24, 2020. | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

The Utah Department of Health reported 75 new infections in the five-county area that encompasses Southern Utah on Saturday, the fourth-most since the pandemic began.

Washington County continues to have a vast majority of the infections and deaths, as it recorded its 35th death Saturday. Southern Utah has had 41 people die since the first local death in March.

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department has not released its daily county-by-county case counts as of Saturday at 6 p.m.. 

The death was of a male between 65- to 84-years of age who was hospitalized at the time of his death, according to the Utah Department of Health.

After Hurricane took a turn as the hot spot of Washington County in the last week, St. George moved back into its usual seat as the focal point of new infections in the area with 32 of the 75 new infections.

According to Utah Department of Health data, there are currently 798 people infected with the coronavirus in Southern Utah.

Among cities between 8,000 to 86,000 in population in Utah, St. George had the fifth-most new infections Saturday. That is five places ahead of Provo in Utah County, which had been the major source of the recent statewide spike but has seen new cases go down nearly in half since moving to the orange risk status and instituting a countywide mask mandate in late September.

Dixie Regional Medical Center seen on May 8, 2020. | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

Hospitalizations remained high locally, with the Utah Department of Health reporting 16 local residents currently hospitalized with the virus.

There are more people with the coronavirus currently in Dixie Regional Medical Center. Earlier in the week, Dr. Eddie Stenehjem, medical director of antibiotic stewardship for Intermountain Healthcare, said that Intermountain is also transferring COVID-19 and other patients from its other hospitals to Dixie Regional Medical Center to help dwindling capacity in all of the facilities. 

With medical experts saying that an increase in cases leads to an increase in hospitalizations and deaths a week to two weeks later, doctors and nurses at Dixie Regional Medical Center and other local hospitals aren’t about to see any kind of relief soon.

COVID-19 information resources

St. George News has made every effort to ensure the information in this story is accurate at the time it was written. However, as the situation and science surrounding the coronavirus continues to evolve, it’s possible that some data has changed.

We invite you to check the resources below for up-to-date information and resources.


Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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