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Utah records 8 coronavirus deaths, most since pandemic began

June 12, 2020 GMT
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Salt Lake County Health Department's public health nurse Lee Cherie Booth performs a coronavirus test outside the Salt Lake County Health Department, Friday, June 12, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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Salt Lake County Health Department's public health nurse Lee Cherie Booth performs a coronavirus test outside the Salt Lake County Health Department, Friday, June 12, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) —

Utah health officials reported eight more COVID-19 deaths Friday as the state continues to experience a rapid spread of coronavirus after many businesses were allowed to reopen last month.

The eight deaths — six of whom were senior citizens in long-term care facilities — are the most reported in a single day to the Utah State Health Department since the pandemic began, spokesman Tom Hudachko said. Five of the deceased were 85 or older.

Utah officials have recorded 139 confirmed deaths since the pandemic began.

The state tallied 325 new coronavirus cases Friday — matching the daily average for June. That’s nearly double the 168 average daily cases in May.

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Utah is among a large number of states in the U.S. with rising cases, according to an Associated Press analysis. Utah has the 11th-highest rate of positive tests per 100,000 people in the U.S. It had the seventh-lowest rate in mid-May, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn began issuing calls last week for Utah residents to continue social distancing and wearing masks.

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