College students in Utah County fueling rise in COVID cases

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — College students in Utah County are driving a rise in confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, health officials said Monday.

Utah reported 563 new cases Monday — bringing the weekly average to nearly 490 per day. That’s the highest it’s been since late July, state figures show.

Nearly four in 10 new cases come from Utah County and the majority are college-aged people, said state epidemiologist Angela Dunn in a news release. The county only accounts for two in 10 state residents.

Utah County is home to Utah Valley University in Orem and Brigham Young University in Provo, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

BYU students have received criticism for large off-campus gatherings.

Dunn said college officials have implemented solid preventative measures for campus but “they need help from their students to act responsibly while off campus.”

BYU and Utah Valley have reported low case counts among their students and faculty.

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