The rate of daily COVID-19 cases has held steady recently, following an encouraging decline in recent weeks.
Over the past seven days, Utah saw 3,529 new coronavirus cases. That’s down slightly compared to the week before, when the state health department reported 3,615 new cases. Over those two weeks, the daily average of new cases is 510.25.
The state’s own tracking dashboard indicates that since March 8, Utah has seen cases level out after two months of decline. The last time the state reported a plateau in cases before this one was Jan. 10.
One possible reason for the plateau could lie in the rise of several coronavirus variants that have made their way to the United States in recent months, fueling questions from state officials on how to react to them. The variants are thought to spread more easily among people and possibly cause more severe disease.
The state has tallied 67 cases of the U.K. variant (labeled B.1.1.7), but none of the South Africa (B.1.351) or Brazil (P.1) variants yet. However, the health department’s reporting of that data is behind by about two weeks.
The current plateau leaves the state at roughly the same spot it was in back in June, when cases were averaging about 470 per day. That’s when state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said the rate of spread might soon warrant “a complete shutdown.”
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