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On May 21, the Public Health and Economic Emergency Commission unanimously voted to recommend that new additional COVID-19 data be publicly posted on coronavirus.utah.gov. The data provides a nation-leading public look at how underlying conditions, demographics and other key factors interplay to create higher risks for certain individuals regarding COVID-19.

The Commission also unanimously recommended that COVID-19 test providers collect information on leading risk factors for hospitalization when administering a COVID-19 test. The purpose is for the data to be aggregated and reported to health officials, economic advisors and elected officials. Establishing a better understanding of how many new infections are in high-risk populations will help experts project future risk to the state’s healthcare system.

While COVID-19 cases may rise as the state transitions to lower risk phases, the number of cases is not a good indicator of health risk for all Utahns because 99 percent of Utahns who contract COVID-19 recover. The new data will provide much better indicators.

Utah has made significant progress in accurately assessing public health risks. Consequently, the state has been able to provide effective recommendations to citizens and businesses based on extensive, accurate data that identify highly correlated factors with hospitalization and mortality.       

Data from mid-March through mid-May:

“We now know much more about who’s at high risk of complications when contracting COVID-19,” said Jefferson Burton, co-chair of the Commission. “Armed with this information, we can form better state strategies for protecting the vulnerable. We can help those who are not vulnerable transition back to work while taking precautions not to infect those who are.”

"We have some of the top minds in the state helping government leaders address this health and economic crisis — epidemiologists, scientists, physicians, economists, business leaders and medical researchers," said Sen. Dan Hemmert, co-chair of the Commission. "Utah is leading the nation in health and economic outcomes. We're making progress in understanding how to navigate through this situation."

Utah’s COVID-19 patient fatality data as of May 26:

The Commission's goal is to protect vulnerable populations and allow the state to carefully transition to a lower risk status by making sound data-driven recommendations in consultation with health experts, economic advisors and elected officials. Metrics driving decisions and recommendations include hospital utilization rates, the transmission rate and rate of community spread, as well as new insights about high-risk populations. View key factors the Commission is utilizing here.