Utah 'on the brink" after record day for COVID-19 cases

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah hit another ominous record Friday by tallying the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in a single day as the state struggles to slow a monthlong surge of COVID-19 that is filling intensive care beds at hospitals.

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After the state reported confirmed 1,960 cases, Gov. Gary Herbert warned in a statement that the state is “on the brink,” and once again pleaded with people to adhere to mask mandates in place in 21 of the state’s 29 counties. The Republican governor said people should wear masks anytime they are with people beside their immediate family, even if its extended family or friends.

Capacity at the state's intensive care units reached 76%, with more people hospitalized this week for COVID-19 than at any other time during the pandemic, state figures show.

“Up until now, our hospitals have been able to provide good care to all COVID and non-COVID patients who need it. But today we stand on the brink," Herbert said. "If Utahns do not take serious steps to limit group gatherings and wear masks, our healthcare providers will not have the ability to provide quality care for everyone who needs it.”

Four more deaths recorded Friday bring the total to 567. Utah had the seventh-highest rate of newly confirmed infections per capita Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

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