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Reports of new cases of COVID-19 continue to pick up speed, with the Bear River Health District reporting 191 newly confirmed infections on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s report brings the 7-day rolling average in the district up to about 132 new cases a day. That’s up from 88 cases a day for last Wednesday and the six days prior.

As quickly as rates are rising locally and statewide in the ongoing spike, they may be just the beginning. As part of the state of emergency declared on Sunday, Gov. Gary Herbert announced a testing plan that may dramatically increase the number of people being tested. College students taking in-person classes this semester will be required to take a test once a week, and National Guard resources are being mobilized to help expand testing to high school students involved in extracurricular activities and eventually even workplace testing for people 35 and younger.

There are an estimated 2,132 active cases in the health district, which includes Cache, Box Elder and Rich counties. About 69% of those active cases are in Cache, with almost all of the remainder in Box Elder. Rich County has eight estimated active cases.

Statewide, the Utah Department of Health reported 2,335 new cases Wednesday, bringing the statewide 7-day average to 2,584 new infections daily. About 450 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Utah, the department reports, as the pandemic strains the state’s available ICU beds and health care workers.

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