The rate of newly reported COVID-19 infections dropped over the week of Thanksgiving, but local, state and national officials are worried that the holiday may lift rates again in the coming weeks.
The 7-day rolling average dropped to 131 in the Bear River Health District by Monday, down from 213 one week ago. Testing has dipped to an average of about 900 new tests a day for the 7-day period ending Monday, down from about 1,000 new tests a day the week prior. The percentage of tests coming back positive was about 20% for both of those periods.
While the rate of new cases is slowing in the district, officials are worried the rate may increase in the coming weeks.
On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that "there almost certainly is going to be an uptick because of what has happened with the travel" around Thanksgiving and that the nation may see "a surge upon a surge" in the coming weeks.
The Cache County School District sent an email reminding parents to "remain diligent at monitoring and keeping children home when ill," especially during the three weeks of school between the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. One of the district's schools, Ridgeline High, is on two weeks of remote learning after it surpassed 15 active cases the week before Thanksgiving.
The Bear River Health District counted five more COVID-19 deaths during the week of Thanksgiving. Four of those were among Box Elder County residents, and one was a Cache County resident, bringing both counties to a total of 15 residents whose deaths have been attributed to the disease.
Rich County is still reporting zero COVID-19 deaths. The much smaller county containing the southern half of Bear Lake has had about 1,450 cumulative COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents to Cache's 4,860 and Box Elder's 3,110. The percentage of tests in Rich County coming back positive over the past seven days is 42%, however, which may indicate that not enough tests are being performed to get a good idea of how the pandemic is spreading there.