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Utah reports nearly 4,000 new COVID-19 cases in a day

Utah reports nearly 4,000 new COVID-19 cases in a day
© ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Utah reported 3,919 coronavirus cases on Thursday, nearly a thousand more cases than its previous record last Friday, when 2,987 cases were reported.

The grim development brings the number of cases in Utah up to 143,639.

During his weekly COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Gary Herbert (R) said the numbers were not surprising but were still cause for concern, Deseret News reports.

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“We are at the breaking point and ready to have some serious repercussions,” Herbert said.

Deseret News spoke to Katie Thomas of Intermountain Medical Center who said, “In the last few weeks, we’ve had to use part of the plan we hoped to never have to use.”

“There are limits, as we know, to what our current staff can handle. Beds don’t take care of people, people do. Staffing has been a struggle,” Thomas said.

Coronavirus cases are currently rising in every state in the nation, with many in the Midwest and Great Plains seeing their highest numbers of the year.

North Dakota announced this week that staffing shortages have become so dire that asymptomatic, COVID-positive health care workers would be allowed to continue working in COVID-19 units. 

The city of Chicago announced a 30-day stay-at-home order on Thursday, calling for residents to avoid all nonessential travel and cancel Thanksgiving plans with those not in their households.

According to Utah epidemiologist Angela Dunn, referral hospitals are now operating at 88 percent capacity and the virus is affecting people from all walks of life.

“Our only hope for slowing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting our hospitals is if each of us wears a mask more than we’re doing it now," Dunn said.