Utah reports 22 new deaths from COVID-19, 686 new cases and a glitch in vaccination registrations

Utah reports 22 new deaths from COVID-19, 686 new cases and a glitch in vaccination registrations

Some people without qualifying conditions were able schedule a shot. Now they’re being asked to cancel those appointments.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Kenley Hansen gets a COVID-19 vaccination from Kirsten Weber, as Utah County residents lined up for vaccinations in a former Shopko store in Spanish Fork, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021.

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Utahns who scheduled a COVID-19 vaccination through the state website — and are not among the high-risk groups currently designated for shots — are being asked to cancel those appointments.

On Saturday, officials learned there was a glitch in the state process that allowed some residents to register even if they were not 65 or older or had a qualifying medical condition. According to a statement from the Utah Department of Health, approximately 7,200 people who did not meet eligibility requirements were able to make appointments.

The state is working to fix the problem.

People who went directly to the state’s vaccination site, filled out the form and answered the questions truthfully — even if they did not have a qualifying medical condition — were able to secure available appointments, the Salt Lake County Health Department said in a statement.

“We ask the public to refrain from making appointments if they do not have a qualifying medical condition,” the statement said. “We ask that they cancel that appointment so someone at higher risk can take it and receive the vaccine.”

Those who go through the Salt Lake County Health Department website must “certify” that they have a qualifying medical condition. Those conditions are listed on that same page.
“If they answer that question truthfully and honestly and check the box certifying that they do,” the statement said, “they will then be directed to the state’s vaccination site and will be able to create an account (if they don’t already have one) and secure an available appointment.”

Unqualified people who don’t cancel their appointments could encounter a problem when they go to get their shot, the statement said.

“Our mass vaccination site managers are instructed to follow state guidelines,” it said. “So, those who arrive for their appointment and inform us that they do not in fact have a qualifying medical condition will be asked to wait until they are eligible to receive the vaccine.”

People who meet the state qualification can keep their appointments.

The vaccination glitch came on a day when the number of COVID-19 cases in Utah remained below four figures, with 686 cases reported Saturday. That marks two weeks when the daily case counts have been below 1,000.

The state recorded 22 new deaths from the virus, however, 12 men and 10 women. Nineteen of those deaths occurred before Feb. 6, the Utah Department of Health said.

Vaccinations administered in past day/total vaccinations • 19,757/702,293.

Number of Utahns who have received two doses • 249,398.

Cases reported in past day • 686.

Deaths reported in past day • 22.

• Seven from Salt Lake County, two men between ages 65 and 84; and five women between 65 and 84.

• Four from Washington County, one man and one woman, both older than 85; two men between 65 and 84.

• Three from Utah County, one man older than 85; and two women between 65 and 84.

• Two from Beaver County, a man older than 85 and a man between 65 and 84

• Two from Emery County, a woman older than 85; and a man between 65 and 84.

• Two from Weber County, two men between 45 and 64.

• One from Cache County, a woman between 65 and 84

• One from Davis County, a man between 65 and 84.

Hospitalizations reported in past day • 223, eight fewer than Friday. Of those currently hospitalized, 89 are in intensive care units — five fewer than Friday.

Tests reported in past day • 6,752 people were tested for the first time. A total of 17,724 people were tested.

Percentage of positive tests • Under the state’s original method, the rolling seven-day average is 12.2%.

The state’s new method counts all test results, including repeated tests of the same individual. The rolling seven-day average is now at 5.5%.

[Read more: Utah is changing how it measures the rate of positive COVID-19 tests. Here’s what that means.]

Totals to date • 370,770 cases; 1,929 deaths; 14,664 hospitalizations; 3,798,843 people tested.

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