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Health department reports 2150 new COVID-19 cases in Utah on Saturday - KSL.com
That brings Utah to 322,252 total confirmed cases and 1,485 deaths since the pandemic began.
SALT LAKE CITY The Utah Department of Health reported 2,150 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 13 new deaths Saturday in its daily release of updated coronavirus statistics. Six of those new deaths occurred prior to Dec. 26, it said, and have been added after further investigation. "The Office of the Medical Examiner conducts thorough investigations of all potential COVID-related deaths," the department wrote in an email, "(and) these investigations can take several weeks to complete." The update brings Utah to 322,252 total confirmed cases and 1,485 deaths since the pandemic began. An estimated 56,521 of those cases are currently active. Over the past week, the state is averaging 2,315 new confirmed cases per day and a rolling positive test rate of 24.7%, which is down from 32.6% a week ago but still in a range that indicates a high probability of underreported community spread. Currently, 581 Utahns are hospitalized due to COVID-19, including 231 in intensive care. Saturday's numbers come as 10,460 more people were tested for the virus and about 26,000 new tests were conducted overall, the health department says. A total of 152,509 vaccine doses have now been administered in the state, almost 10,000 more than yesterday. The health department announced on Friday that it has detected a new variant of COVID-19 in Utah, one first found in the U.K. The variant is thought to be more transmissible and easier to spread than previous iterations of the virus, but there is no evidence that it is more deadly. Health officials currently believe the approved coronavirus vaccines will be effective against the variant. On Saturday, Utah health officials announced on Twitter they have deployed a monoclonal antibody "strike team" to long-term care facilities experiencing coronavirus outbreaks at the direction of Gov. Spencer Cox. "Monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19 may block the virus that causes COVID-19 from attaching to human cells," they wrote, "making it more difficult for the virus to reproduce and cause harm." Antibodies form naturally in the bodies of recovered patients, providing some immunity against future infection; monoclonal antibodies are created in a lab to mimic this effect and have been approved by federal agencies as a COVID-19 preventative and treatment. The health department said its strike teams would administer 25 infusions at five different facilities Saturday. There is no coronavirus news conference from state leaders scheduled for over the weekend. The 13 deaths reported Saturday included:
- A Box Elder County man between ages 65 and 84 who was the resident of a long-term care facility
- A Davis County man over age 85 who was hospitalized when he died
- A Garfield County man between ages 65 and 84 who was the resident of a long-term care facility
- A Salt Lake County man between ages 65 and 84 who was hospitalized
- A Salt Lake County woman over age 85 who was the resident of a long-term care facility
- A Sanpete County man between ages 65 and 84 who was hospitalized
- A Uintah County woman over age 85 who was the resident of a long-term care facility
- A Utah County man between ages 65 and 84 who was not hospitalized when he died
- A Utah County man between ages 65 and 84 who was hospitalized
- A Utah County woman older than 85 who was the resident of a long-term care facility
- A Washington County woman between ages 65 and 84 who was the resident of a long-term care facility
- Two Washington County men between ages 65 and 84 who were residents of a long-term care facility
- Friday: 2,543 more COVID-19 cases, 12 deaths reported Friday in Utah
- Thursday: Utah still working through vaccine rollout hiccups as state sees 2,742 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths
- Wednesday: 2,899 more COVID-19 cases, 27 deaths reported Wednesday in Utah
- Tuesday: 2,146 more COVID-19 cases, 26 deaths reported Tuesday in Utah
- Monday: 1,484 more COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths reported Monday in Utah
Coronavirus in 2021: A look at Utah's COVID-19 situation to begin the new year - KSL.com
New year, same pandemic. Here's a review of current statistics and storylines in Utah to get a better view of the pandemic at the beginning of 2021.
SALT LAKE CITY We've now entered the 2021 portion of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already been met with cautious optimism by public health officials for a few reasons. Unlike in the beginning of the pandemic in the state back in March 2020, there is now a vaccine that is available to combat the spread of the coronavirus. That said, the rollout of the vaccine has gone slower than expected. The Utah Department of Health's immunization leader said last week that despite vaccinations ramping up at the end of 2020, he anticipated there will probably be delays in the state's original timetable for certain groups to receive the vaccine. The health department and other Utah health care experts are still keeping close tabs on the current COVID-19 statistics to see if the December holidays like Christmas and New Year's Eve will lead to another uptick in cases and hospitalizations. Utah's seven-day rolling average of new cases per day was 2,800 on Tuesday, which is on the rise but still not as high as the 2020 peak of 3,364.6 cases per day recorded on Nov. 22. There are also nearly 100 fewer current hospitalizations from COVID-19 as compared to the 2020 high of 606 set on Dec. 4. That said, the health department reported Monday that Utah's seven-day rolling average of case positivity rate crept over 30% for the first time as it continues to rise. It was 32.1% as of Tuesday, although the figure is backdated to Dec. 30 to account for more complete results of all tests taken on that day. Since it is the new year, here's a review of current statistics and storylines in Utah to get a better view of the pandemic at the beginning of 2021. Utah's COVID-19 situation in the 1st week of 2021 There have been 288,951 total COVID-19 cases in Utah, 11,356 Utahns hospitalized by COVID-19, and 1,312 deaths as a result of the coronavirus since March 2020. In addition, over 1.7 million Utahns have been tested a total of more than 2.7 million times. Of course, that's a long stretch of time and most of the cases reported a little over 236,000 in all have resulted in reported recoveries. That's not to say all of those recoveries still don't suffer from coronavirus-related complications, but those who test positive for COVID-19 and survive are marked as "recovered" three weeks after they tested positive. As of Tuesday, here is what the state's COVID-19 situation looks like on a more current scale:
- 2,800 seven-day running average of cases per day
- 51,443 active COVID-19 cases
- Average of about 16,021 total tests per day over past seven days (note: some of these are not new people tested)
- 32.1% seven-day rolling average test positivity rate
- 66.9 seven-day rolling average COVID-19 hospitalizations by day (note: some new hospitalizations not reported yet)
- 510 current hospitalizations due to COVID-19
- 84% statewide intensive care unit utilization (86% at referral centers)
- 43 deaths reported since New Year (note: some likely from the end of 2020)
- 55,981 Utahns vaccinated
- 150,125 vaccine doses shipped to Utah
3318 more COVID-19 cases, 7 deaths reported Tuesday in Utah - KSL.com
Utah's number of COVID-19 cases has increased by 3,318 Tuesday, with seven more deaths reported, according to the Utah Department of Health.
SALT LAKE CITY Utah's number of COVID-19 cases has increased by 3,318 Tuesday, with seven more deaths reported as the positive test rate has continued climbing, according to the Utah Department of Health. There are now an estimated 51,443 active COVID-19 cases in Utah, state data shows. The rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 2,800, according to the health department. The positive test rate per day for that time period is now a record-high 32.1%, up from 30.8% Monday. The new numbers indicate a 1.2% increase in positive cases since Monday. Of the 1,762,178 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 16.5% have tested positive for COVID-19. The number of tests conducted increased by 17,539 Tuesday, and 9,854 of those tests were people who had not previously been tested for the disease, state data shows. There are now 510 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah, including 177 in intensive care, health department data shows. About 84% of intensive care unit beds are filled in Utah as of Tuesday, including about 84% of ICU beds in the state's 16 referral hospitals. A total of 55,981 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered in Utah, according to the health department. A total of 150,125 vaccine doses have now been shipped to the state, though health officials note that there is a data reporting lag between when doses are shipped, administered to patients and then reported to the health department. The seven deaths reported Tuesday were:
- A Weber County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died
- A Salt Lake County man who was between the ages of 45 and 64 and was hospitalized when he died
- A Washington County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died
- A Utah County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died
- Two Washington County women who were over the age of 85 and were not hospitalized when they died
- A Davis County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died
2160 more COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths reported Monday in Utah as positive test rate rises - KSL.com
Utah's number of COVID-19 cases has increased by 2,160 on Monday, with four more deaths reported, according to the Utah Department of Health.
SALT LAKE CITY Utah's number of COVID-19 cases has increased by 2,160 on Monday, with four more deaths reported, according to the Utah Department of Health. The health department now estimates there are 50,030 active COVID-19 cases in Utah. The rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 2,716, according to the health department. The positive test rate per day for that time period climbed to a record-high 30.8% the first time that number has been reported above 30%. The new numbers indicate a 0.8% increase in positive cases since Sunday. Of the 1,752,324 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 16.4% have tested positive for COVID-19. The health department reported 6,619 new people tested as of Monday, while total tests conducted increased by 8,770. A total of 48,575 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered in Utah, up from 47,382 Sunday, according to the health department. Health officials note that there is a data reporting lag from when doses are shipped to Utah, administered to patients and then reported to the health department. State data shows 142,875 vaccine doses have now been shipped to Utah. There are now 484 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah, including 167 in intensive care. Overall, about 83% of all intensive care unit beds in Utah are occupied Monday, including about 86% of ICU beds in the state's 16 referral hospitals. About 48% of Utah's non-ICU hospital beds are filled, state data shows. The four new deaths reported Monday were:
- A Washington County woman who was over the age of 85 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
- A Salt Lake County man who was over the age of 85 and was not hospitalized when he died
- A Salt Lake County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died
- A Washington County woman who was over the age of 85 and was hospitalized when she died
Utah reports record 4672 new COVID-19 cases, 13 more deaths on New Year's Eve - KSL.com
The Utah Department of Health reported 4,672 new COVID-19 cases with 13 more deaths on Thursday.
SALT LAKE CITY The Utah Department of Health reported 4,672 new COVID-19 cases Thursday with 13 more deaths, breaking the record for the number of cases reported in a single day. The health department now estimates there are 50,904 active cases of the disease in Utah. The sudden increase in cases comes after the state has seen a steady decrease in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks. Back in November, officials feared a Thanksgiving Day spike, but were happy to report only a small surge after the holiday. However, with Thursday's numbers, a surge in cases related to Christmas is a possibility. Gov.-elect Spencer Cox wrote on Twitter that while it's possible the sharp increase in cases could be due to low testing last week, it's possibly the beginning of a holiday-related surge. "Our fear is that people were less cautious during Christmas," he wrote in a tweet. "If you are planning large gatherings to celebrate New Year's Eve, please reconsider." The numbers The rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 2,288 according to the health department. The positive test rate per day for that time period is now 25.6%. The total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic is now at 1,269. Of the 1,726,003 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 16% have tested positive for COVID-19. The health department reported 11,412 new people were tested for COVID-19 as of Thursday. There are now 510 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah with 158 in intensive care units, state data shows. Total hospitalizations since the beginning of the outbreak are now 10,956. About 83.2% of all ICU beds are occupied in Utah as of Thursday, including about 87% of ICU beds in the state's 16 referral hospitals. About 55.7% of non-ICU hospital beds are occupied, state data shows. A total of 30,200 COVID-19 vaccines have now been administered, up from 23,970 Wednesday, according to state data. Health officials note that there is a data reporting delay of up to seven days from when vaccine doses are shipped to Utah, administered to patients, and reported to the state health department. The state reported Wednesday that more than 125,000 total vaccine doses have either been shipped or approved to be shipped to Utah. This story will be updated. Methodology: Test results now include data from PCR tests and antigen tests. Positive COVID-19 test results are reported to the health department immediately after they are confirmed, but negative test results may not be reported for 24 to 72 hours. The total number of cases reported by the Utah Department of Health each day includes all cases of COVID-19 since Utah's outbreak began, including those who are currently infected, those who have recovered from the disease, and those who have died. Recovered cases are defined as anyone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 three or more weeks ago and has not died. Referral hospitals are the 16 Utah hospitals with the capability to provide the best COVID-19 health care. Deaths reported by the state typically occurred two to seven days prior to when they are reported, according to the health department. Some deaths may be from even further back, especially if the person is from Utah but has died in another state. The health department reports both confirmed and probable COVID-19 case deaths per the case definition outlined by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. The death counts are subject to change as case investigations are completed. For deaths that are reported as COVID-19 deaths, the person would not have died if they did not have COVID-19, according to the health department. Data included in this story primarily reflects the state of Utah as a whole. For more localized data, visit your local health district's website. More information about Utah's health guidance levels is available at coronavirus.utah.gov/utah-health-guidance-levels. Information is from the Utah Department of Health and coronavirus.utah.gov/case-counts. For more information on how the Utah Department of Health compiles and reports COVID-19 data, visit coronavirus.utah.gov/case-counts and scroll down to the "Data Notes" section at the bottom of the page. Related Links Related Stories More stories you may be interested in
2614 more COVID-19 cases, 21 new deaths reported in Utah as state begins to ramp up vaccinations - KSL.com
Utah's number of COVID-19 cases has increased by 2,614 on Wednesday, with 21 more deaths reported, according to an update provided by the Utah Department of Health.
SALT LAKE CITY Utah's number of COVID-19 cases has increased by 2,614 on Wednesday, with 21 more deaths reported, according to an update provided by the Utah Department of Health. The new COVID-19 case numbers indicate a 1% increase in positive cases since Tuesday. The rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 2,033, according to the health department. The positive test rate per day for that time period is now 25%. There are now 484 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized in Utah, state data shows. Of the 21 new deaths, nine were from Salt Lake County and five were from Utah County, but the department reported new deaths from across the state. Utah now has 271,940 total confirmed cases, with 10,873 total hospitalizations and 1,256 total deaths from the disease since March following Wednesday's totals. Vaccinations 'picking up some steam' A total of 23,970 Utahns have now been vaccinated for COVID-19, according to the health department. Rich Lakin, immunization program manager for the Utah Department of Health, said Wednesday that vaccinations are picking up pace now and about 6,500 people have been vaccinated over the past two days, which accounts for about one-fourth of all vaccinations since the process began on Dec. 15. "The initial rollout of the vaccine has been slow slower than what we had anticipated and really slower than what we wanted but we are picking up some steam," he said. The state also reported Wednesday that more than 125,000 total vaccine doses have either been shipped or approved to be shipped to Utah. The health department doesn't have a figure regarding how many of those doses have arrived. During an informal briefing with media members Wednesday, Lakin said there is a lag in data. He said there is usually at least a two-day delay between doses shipped and doses received. There's also up to a 24-hour delay when doses are administered and when it shows up on the health department website. Local health departments have started vaccinating non-hospital health care workers like emergency medical technicians, while Walgreens, CVS and community nursing services began vaccinating long-term care facility employees and residents. The latter is a result of a federal partnership with drug stores to roll out vaccines to long-term care facilities but still is represented in state supply data, Lakin explained. That's on top of hospitals vaccinating front line workers, which kicked off the vaccinating process. Vaccines are administered in two doses weeks apart, as well. Lakin added that the state has ordered its second round doses of the vaccination for people who have received their first round of immunization. The second round of doses for those already vaccinated will begin next week and will be counted in a separate health department statistic. Why the state vaccine expects timeline delays Still, vaccinations are behind what state officials had originally hoped by the end of the year even if the process is gaining steam. There were 154,000 doses expected to be in the state by the end of 2020. Earlier this month, federal officials apologized for a "miscommunication" over how many vaccine doses states would receive in the first few weeks. Many states, including Utah, were left with fewer doses than expected. Lakin said this miscommunication will likely alter timelines to complete vaccination rounds for groups like health care workers. It also means likely delays for groups next on the vaccination list like teachers. "Because we have less vaccine, it is pushing the timeline back a little bit," he said. Next in line after the groups are being vaccinated are first responders and teachers, which Lakin said he hopes the state can get to by the end of January. That's ultimately up to how many doses the state receives from the federal government for that to happen. If rollout on a federal level continues to be slower than expected, it'll likely push Utah's timeline back. "If we don't have enough vaccine, we can't move through the populations we'd like to because we can't supply enough vaccines to our local health departments because the speed of them vaccinating is currently quicker than the amount of vaccine that we can get them," Lakin said. "So you can see why that could cause some delay." Deaths reported Wednesday The complete list of deaths provided by the department Wednesday was:
- A Davis County man between the ages of 45 and 64 and hospitalized at the time of death
- A Davis County woman and long-term care facility resident older than 85
- A Salt Lake County man between the ages of 65 and 84 not hospitalized at the time of death
- A Salt Lake County man between the ages of 65 and 84 and hospitalized at the time of death
- A Salt Lake County man between the ages of 65 and 84 and hospitalized at the time of death
- A Salt Lake County man and long-term care facility resident older than 85
- A Salt Lake County man and long-term care facility resident older than 85
- A Salt Lake County woman older than 85 and hospitalized at the time of death
- A Salt Lake County man between the ages of 65 and 84 and hospitalized at the time of death
- A Salt Lake County man between the ages of 65 and 84 not hospitalized at the time of death
- A Salt Lake County woman and long-term care facility resident between the ages of 45 and 64
- A Sanpete County man and long-term care facility resident between the ages of 65 and 84
- A Sanpete County man between the ages of 65 and 84 and hospitalized at the time of death
- A Uintah County man between the ages of 65 and 84 and hospitalized at the time of death
- A Utah County man between the ages of 65 and 84 and hospitalized at the time of death
- A Utah County man and long-term care facility resident older than 85
- A Utah County man and long-term care facility resident between the ages of 65 and 84
- A Utah County woman and long-term care facility resident older than 85
- A Utah County man between the ages of 65 and 84 and hospitalized at the time of death
- A Washington County man and long-term care facility resident between the ages of 65 and 84
- A Weber County man older than 85 and hospitalized at the time of death
COVID-19 data: Why recent drop in cases likely isn't a sign that the coronavirus is leaving Utah - KSL.com
Case counts and positivity rate tell different stories of COVID-19 in Utah. Meanwhile, there are encouraging signs at Utah hospitals ahead of 2021.
SALT LAKE CITY It's refreshing to see Utah's COVID-19 epidemiological curve drop in the recent weeks after months of case increases; however, there are signs that recent case counts don't show a complete picture of COVID-19 in the state. In a conventional sense, the spread of COVID-19 can be determined by simply looking at new cases discovered through testing. But what happens when testing for the coronavirus isn't exactly consistent? That's where other statistics help piece together how COVID-19 is currently impacting the state. Confirmed cases down, positivity rate slowly rising The Utah Department of Health reported 972 new cases of COVID-19 from tests taken on Friday and 802 on Saturday. Those figures were the lowest single-day increases reported since early October. In fact, it snapped a stretch of 1,000 or more new daily cases announced by the health department that dated back to Oct. 12. The department reported another 1,700 cases from tests Sunday, which is also well below the seven-day rolling average ahead of Christmas. The state's COVID-19 epidemiological curve and seven-day rolling average of new cases have also been in decline since around Dec. 10. This graph shows the seven-day running average of new COVID-19 cases from March through December 2020. It was last updated on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. (Photo: Utah Department of Health) This graph shows Utah's COVID-19 epidemiological curve from March through December 2020. It was last updated on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. (Photo: Utah Department of Health) That said, testing is another figure that's fallen off in that same time. For example, more than 15,000 people were tested for COVID-19 on Dec. 9 the most tests conducted after Thanksgiving, according to health department data. Aside from a few outliers, the state has mostly reported days with fewer than 10,000 tests conducted since then. Testing was not conducted on Christmas Day and testing sites closed early on Christmas Eve, but the downward trend is visible on a graph before the holiday. Meanwhile, the percentage of positive tests to tests conducted, commonly referred to as positivity rate, has only increased since about the time that cases declined. As of Monday, Utah's seven-day rolling average positivity rate is 24.4% through that backdate of Dec. 22. Preliminary data from over the weekend indicated positivity rates closer to 30%, which means the number will rise in the coming days. This graph shows the seven-day running of COVID-19 positivity rate from March through December 2020. It was last updated on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. (Photo: Utah Department of Health) Experts have said that positivity rate is an important statistic because it can provide a better assessment of how prevalent a virus is in a community when testing numbers widely fluctuate and become unreliable. In this case, the positivity rate is the largest sign that COVID-19 isn't quite leaving Utah, even if case counts are falling. "We're certainly concerned because it represents high level of community transmission," said Dr. Todd Vento, an infectious disease physician for Intermountain Healthcare. "Hence, it's why we're constantly monitoring the situation to see if there's any additional measures that we need to take to address that." Vento said health officials don't know exactly why testing is currently down; however, they have seen trends throughout the pandemic and from illnesses different from COVID-19. On a smaller scale, some days like Sunday and Monday yield fewer testing than other days. Those are believed to be tied to when someone is expected to be out in public for any reason, such as work. "The same sort of concept after holidays," Vento said. "We've seen in the past where the numbers were down right away. The numbers yesterday were very low, which folks kind of for a lack of better word are waking from their slumber from the holidays and maybe on, say, Tuesday or Wednesday they'll start thinking 'OK, I'm going to go get tested.' That's not unusual for other respiratory illness as well." Since testing was down, he said the epidemiological curve and seven-day running average of case counts will be "maybe not as accurately reflecting what's out there in the community" especially when it takes into account days where testing was limited. That's where the positivity rate comes into play. "You can't look at just the cases and the case seven-day rolling average because it won't accurately reflect a same number of tests that were done," he added. As for Utah's positivity rate, it's been a roller coaster over the past few weeks. After climbing to 25.4% on Nov. 10, it fell 21.8% on Nov. 22 a few days before Thanksgiving. It rose again to a current all-time high of 27.2% on Dec. 1 before it fell back down to 22.3% on Dec. 13. It's steadily climbed since then but at a much slower rate. What's happened with COVID-19 hospitalizations? Of course, the biggest concern with COVID-19 is any impact it has on hospitals and deaths. Vento said that Utah hospitalizations due to the coronavirus have stabilized and even fallen a little bit. That's a welcome sign for a statewide hospital system that was on the brink of full capacity. Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 typically lag behind new cases, so the state's current peak of 606 hospitalizations on Dec. 4 was primarily the result of climbing COVID-19 cases prior to Thanksgiving. Public health experts warned about holiday gatherings with the fear that hospitalizations would only grow. It appears Utahns heeded the pandemic recommendations for at least Thanksgiving. While many new cases were still reported, it wasn't nearly as many as feared. As a result, the state health department reported just before Christmas fewer than 500 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 for the first time since mid-November. "While the nation had a surge within a surge (there was) a fall surge and then a post-Thanksgiving surge for the United States we didn't see quite that level of increasing cases after Thanksgiving as we were figuring or concerned about, which is very good," he said. He added that hospitals have also learned to shorten stays for patients who don't require ICU care by providing at-home recovery models so people are able to leave the hospital sooner. Data might show that COVID-19 hasn't left the state even as new cases decline, but one positive sign is that new hospitalizations due to the coronavirus are on the decline. The state health department recently began to report the seven-day rolling average of new hospitalizations per day on top of current hospitalization figures. Utah reached a seven-day average of 92.4 hospitalizations per day on Nov. 18. That was the day a record 116 new Utahns were admitted to a hospital due to COVID-19. This graph shows the seven-day running average of new hospitalizations due to COVID-19 from March through December 2020. It was last updated on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. (Photo: Utah Department of Health) The average fell to 71.2 new hospitalizations per day as of Dec. 22, which is the first day beyond the department's period of incomplete new hospitalization data. These figures are still high, especially compared to numbers before November. Nevertheless, it shows that following guidelines for Thanksgiving gatherings helped not just lower the growth of new cases but also helped lessen the impact on hospitals. The jury is still out on whether December holiday gatherings will have factored in any way as the holiday season doesn't really conclude until after New Year's Day, Friday. Outlook heading into New Year's All the health recommendations for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa apply to New Year's. That means health officials advise that people celebrate the holiday at home and connect with other households virtually. Intermountain Healthcare even promoted a do-it-yourself New Year's Eve ball drop out of a styrofoam ball and a wood dowel as one way to celebrate the holiday at home in a fun and safe way. Looking for a fun way to celebrate New Year's Eve safely? Try creating your own ball dropping experience at home! #DIY #IMTNCovid19 Posted by Intermountain Healthcare on Sunday, December 27, 2020 Vento's colleague, Dr. Eddie Stenehjem, another infectious disease physician for Intermountain Healthcare, said last week he anticipated COVID-19 testing will increase after New Year's Day. One of the main reasons for that, he said, is that Utah colleges will begin their mass weekly testing of students who remain on campus for the spring semester. Once that begins, the positivity rate will be another key factor as testing numbers may exceed previous testing norms. Related Stories More stories you may be interested in
Utah man discovers friend living homeless, helps him return home - KSL.com
In the middle of downtown Salt Lake City, three friends reunited on the sidewalk in front of City Creek Mall.
SALT LAKE CITY In the middle of downtown Salt Lake City, three friends reunited on the sidewalk in front of City Creek Mall. It's actually the spot where they first met under remarkable circumstances three years ago and where Korey Hathaway used to camp out and beg for money. "In a way, I didn't want to come back here. I hate to see what I was like down here but in a way, it's kind of closure," explained Hathaway. One of the friends standing with him on the sidewalk admitted she didn't think they would be back together under happy circumstances. "I wasn't sure you were ever going to leave the streets," said Candice Madsen. In April 2017, Korey Hathaway was living with drug addiction and had been homeless for five years. He landed on the streets after he broke his hand in a construction accident and became addicted to pain medication, and then heroin. "At first you want it. Then it gets to the point you need it to get by. There at the end, I wasn't myself. I didn't like myself," said Hathaway. "The only thing that pulled me out of it was Michael." Michael Hansen found Hathaway when he bent down to give a sleeping homeless man a dollar and realized it was his best friend from childhood. "When I looked up at him my jaw hit the floor pretty much because it was my best friend from elementary school all through high school," Hansen remembered. Madsen, a KSL-TV producer, happened to be walking by and noticed the friends sharing a pizza in the middle of the sidewalk. "The longer I watched the more intrigued I was and finally I heard one of them say, 'Let's get a picture.'" Madsen volunteered to take the picture and that's when they told her they hadn't seen each other in 14 years. "Then I said, 'You are not going to believe this. I'm a journalist and this is an amazing story.'' Madsen produced a story about the reunion for KSL-TV and after it aired people all over the world cheered on the friend. But getting Hathaway off the street was not an easy journey. Hathaway said his addiction and fear of failing and letting his family down again, kept him on the streets. "I always wanted a way out from being homeless. I just didn't know how," he said. Hansen's long journey to get Hathaway off the streets finally ended in the spring of 2018, when Hathaway was hospitalized. Hathaway credits friends and family for helping him get back his life. (Photo: Michael Hansen) "Michael came and gave me a blessing and it's been going uphill ever since," said Hathaway. Hansen remembered driving to the hospital and thinking that his friend was going to die. But when he offered the blessing, he knew his friend could live. "In that moment I knew that if he would do everything that the physicians asked him to do that he would actually live," Hansen said. It was a miracle that Hathaway did live. He spent nearly three months in and out of hospitals for heart, lung and kidney failure. Doctors didn't think he would be able to get off dialysis without a transplant, but he did. "I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for what the doctors and nurses did," said Hathaway. Hathaway credited many people for helping him get his life back including the dentist that gave him back his smile. "I can actually eat food real food." Many friends also encouraged him but at the top of that list his mother who never gave up hope. "What else can I say? She's my mom. Moms are always there for you," said Hathaway. The rest of his family was also able to let go of the past to welcome him with lots of love. Korey is making amends with his family. (Photo: Korey Hathaway) "There's always forgiveness. You just got to find a way to receive it," Hathaway said. Since he's been home, Hathaway has asked for a lot of forgiveness and has begun to heal many of his relationships including the one with his son. "I've been trying to make it up to him. Spend as much time with him as I can. Before it was Korey. Now I'm Dad." Hansen said his friend is back to the person he would trust with his life. "I've seen him go from living right here on the sidewalk to living at home, and you can see how amazing and a changed person he is," he said. Hathaway said there are other reasons besides addiction that lead to homelessness. "Every person has their own story. The thing that made a big difference to me is when people would stop and talk to me and acknowledge that I was human," he said. Hansen and Hathaway wanted to do something special to give back and say thanks to all the people that helped them along their journey. They teamed up with Madsen to produce an old-time radio show based on their story. You can listen to the show here.
First Utah health care workers receive COVID-19 vaccine at U. hospital - KSL.com
Five University of Utah Health workers were the first Utahns to receive the COVID-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial Tuesday.
SALT LAKE CITY Five University of Utah Health workers and four Intermountain Healthcare staffers became the first Utahns to receive the COVID-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial Tuesday. Vaccinations took place at the University of Utah Hospital and Intermountain's LDS Hospital on Tuesday. Christy Mulder, a U. health intensive care unit nurse, was the first person to receive the vaccine in Utah, U. health officials said on Twitter. U. health care assistant Diana Navarrete, environmental services worker Maria Cuevas, emergency medicine Dr. Stephen Hartsell, and respiratory therapist Brad Thompson were all vaccinated shortly after Mulder Tuesday morning. "It's an overwhelming day today, lots of emotions," Mulder said during a Tuesday press conference following the vaccinations. "I'm excited for this next step we are taking in ending this painful pandemic." Christy Mulder, middle, a University of Utah Health intensive care unit nurse, was the first person to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Utah on Tuesday, December 15, 2020. (Photo: University of Utah Health) Intermountain LDS Hospital workers Monte Roberts, Amanda Vicchrilli, William Brunt and Sophie Woodbury received the vaccine shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday. Roberts, who was visibly emotional after being the first Intermountain worker to be vaccinated, said it's been a taxing struggle to see patients affected by COVID-19. The disease affects everyone, young and old, and it doesn't go away, he said. Roberts said he was thrilled to receive the vaccine not only to protect himself, but also to protect his patients, his family and his community. "It's enormous because it provides light," he said during an Intermountain news conference shortly after he was vaccinated. "We can beat this. We're going to get through this together." 'Herculean effort' to start vaccinations Front-line health care workers are the first in line to get the vaccine this month. Residents and staff at long-term care facilities, as well as teachers, will also be in the first wave of Utahns to be inoculated, health officials said. About 154,000 doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive in Utah this month. U. health pharmacy senior director Kavish Choudhary described the "Herculean effort" Tuesday to get the vaccine ready to administer. The vaccine arrived about 7 a.m. Tuesday in a surprisingly small crate, he said. The doses were transported to the U. hospital about an hour later and had to be kept in a freezer for about two more hours before they could be administered, he added. "A bit of a whirlwind morning," Choudhary said. Doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are unloaded after they arrived at the University of Utah Hospital on Tuesday, December 15, 2020. (Photo: University of Utah Health) About 25-30 more U. health workers will be vaccinated Tuesday, according to Choudhary. Several hundred more workers will be vaccinated Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday, the U. will expand to open up a larger vaccination clinic for workers, Choudhary added. Those clinics will have 15 people administering the vaccine, and they will be able to vaccinate one worker every 10-15 minutes, he said. Pharmacy staffers are still getting used to the COVID-19 vaccine vials, which are different from what they're used to, so the vaccine rollout will be more gradual, Choudhary said. At Intermountain, 50 LDS Hospital workers were set to receive doses Tuesday, said Intermountain Healthcare medical director of infection prevention for employee health Dr. Kristin Dascomb. Intermountain Medical Center in Murray and Intermountain's Utah Valley Hospital also will be receiving doses of the vaccine soon, she said. "We're grateful to share this hope with our caregivers," Dascomb said. The University of Utah Hospital, LDS Hospital, Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah Valley Hospital and Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George are the five Utah hospitals that have ultra-cold storage facilities needed to house the COVID-19 vaccine, so those five facilities are getting doses of the vaccine first. Other Intermountain facilities, such as Alta View Hospital in Sandy, McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, and Logan Regional Hospital will be receiving doses sometime down the line, Dascomb added. Health care workers grateful for vaccine Hartsell said the vaccine was "probably one of the best Christmas presents we've ever received." "It's a historic day," he said. Mulder said that while death has always been a part of working in an ICU, there is something different about COVID-19. It's painful to watch patients suffer for so long, she said. "That weight feels heavier and heavier over time," Mulder said. But being able to get the vaccine gave her a feeling of hope, she added. "It's really encouraging, and it really does feel like a weight lifted off," Mulder said. "It's so special to be a part of." Registered nurse Sophie Woodbury, left, gets a COVID-19 vaccination from fellow nurse Julie Nelson at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. (Photo: Jeffrey D. Allred, KSL) Woodbury, who has worked at LDS Hospital for about five years, said getting vaccinated will help her own mental state. To this point, workers haven't been able to offer much hope to COVID-19 patients who are struggling, she said. But knowing that there is a vaccine out there that will be able to help protect people from the disease will allow her to treat her patients with more kindness and hope, Woodbury added. "Today is a hopeful day," she said. "I know that there will be an end." She said she now plans to speak out about the benefits of the vaccine and help people make good decisions about getting it. "I feel like I'm a little bit of an ambassador now," she said. Utahns urged to remain vigilant Utah Department of Health state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn, who presided over the vaccinations at the U. hospital and LDS Hospital, said it was hard to believe that it was only a year ago that she was on a conference call with federal disease experts learning about a novel coronavirus. Now there is a vaccine, Dunn said. "This is a huge, momentous day that gives me such joy and pride," she said Thursday during Intermountain's news conference. "We have an amazing state that has come together." Utah didn't experience the spike after Thanksgiving that many had predicted, Dunn added. "We're in a much better spot today than I thought we would be," she said. Utah Department of Health state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn, right, watches as health care assistant Diana Navarrete, a University of Utah health care assistant, receives the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, December 15, 2020. (Photo: University of Utah Health) That being said, Utah is heading into another holiday season, and colder months are ahead, Dunn said. And while Utah hasn't had a huge post-Thanksgiving surge, the state is still reporting about 2,000 cases per day, which is too many, she said. Case counts in that range mean that hospitals are still at capacity. So it's more important now than ever before to continue wearing masks, socially distancing, staying home when sick and practicing all the other public health measures that officials have been recommending throughout the pandemic, Dunn said. At least 50% of Utahns need to be vaccinated for there to be an effect on stopping the spread of COVID-19, and a 70-80% inoculation rate is more ideal, Dunn said. It's not anticipated that vaccines will be widely available to the general public until summer 2021, so she urged people to remain vigilant about preventing the spread of the disease in the meantime. "There is light at the end of the tunnel we're just not quite there yet," Dunn said. "It is so important that we continue to drop our cases." Photos More stories you may be interested in
Gas giants unite: How to view the Saturn-Jupiter conjunction in Utah - KSL.com
Here are some pro-tips from two Utah astronomers on viewing this rare astronomic event.
OUTER SPACE They have been up there much longer than us, and we will be long gone before they disappear, but Saturn and Jupiter will be joined in this year's Great Conjunction for only a wisp of a cosmic moment. As anticipation for the Great Conjunction of 2020 builds, where Saturn and Jupiter will coalesce into one point of light on Monday, Dec. 21, two Utah astronomers offer their insight and advice for fellow stargazers. "I'm not pushing the brightness or even the neatness of this event," NASA Solar System Ambassador Patrick Wiggins said of the event's importance. "I'm pushing the rareness." Wiggins is not exaggerating when he said if you make the effort to see the robustly bright point of light that will be Saturn and Jupiter next Monday, you will behold a sight not previously seen by any of your fellow travelers on Earth. Not since the days of Galileo, who was the first to spot Jupiter's satellites in a telescope, have the two gas giants appeared as close, NASA reported. BYU Astronomy Professor Denise Stephens has encouraged her astronomy students to look for the two planets after they go home for Christmas. They should be able to witness them join together, no matter where they are in the world, Stephens said. Back in Utah, however, we may face unique challenges. First, you must be quick. "It's gonna be kind of a race," Wiggins said of the need to look for the conjunction early. Both astronomers suggest observing the sky about an hour after sunset on when the two planets will be low enough on the horizon that mountains to the west may block the view. To find out if this is a problem for you, Wiggins suggested going out right now and tracking Jupiter and Saturn each night. If you can't see them today because of an obstruction, you won't see them on the 21st. Plus, if you start observing the two planets now, you will notice them drawing closer together each night. This is seeing "the Solar System in motion," said Wiggins. Utah's erratic weather can also stop the show. Starlight can't shine through cloud cover, however, Jupiter is bright enough to break through the northern Utah inversion, Wiggins said. Jupiter is the first bright "star-like" object to appear above the southwest horizon, and Saturn, somewhat dimmer, follows above it and to the left, Wiggins explained. Unlike much of the world right now, on Dec. 21, the two planets will not be social distancing. From Earth, it will appear the two are separated by the thickness of a dime held at arm's length. However, both Wiggins and Stephens again caution not to expect any change in brightness. Though many are calling this a Christmas Star, that doesn't mean the two planets will be giving off extra light. Many believe the Star of Bethlehem could have been a planetary conjunction. Stephens said if this were the case, it would have stood out symbolically to the Magi, not necessarily visually. A Saturn-Jupiter conjunction, which occurred around 7-8 BC, could have signaled to the anticipatory Wise Men the birth of a merciful and just king Jupiter representing mercy, and Saturn representing justice. A later Jupiter-Venus conjunction could have carried a similar meaning, Stephens explained. Asked about the significance of this year's Great Conjunction, Stephens said, "I'm going to choose to see it as a sign of better things to come." How this highly publicized astronomical event will shine, however, is through the right optics. "Looking through a telescope, which has a very narrow field of view, and to be able to see two planets at the same time is a rare event," Wiggins stated. The diehard astronomer said he will start his observing even before the sun goes down, though he doesn't recommend that to greener astronomers. But anyone with even the most basic of telescopes should be able to see both Saturn and Jupiter at the same time in their telescope's eyepiece. Jupiter and Saturn are two of the three objects in the sky people that impress people the most, he attested. He himself remembers his first sighting of Saturn as a child being "incredible!" The next Great Conjunction is in 80 years, said Wiggins. That means children have a great shot at becoming repeat eye-witnesses, not unlike the Halley's Two Timers' Club, those of a previous generation who saw Halley's Comet in 1910 and again in 1983. His advice to the youth: Draw a picture of what you see. When the next Great Conjunction rolls around, you will have a good story to tell with proof. If you don't own a telescope, a pair of binoculars will be almost as good. Wiggins said with 20x magnification, you will be able to make out Jupiter's four satellites and the bulge of Saturn's rings. But if all you can muster is simple, naked-eye observing, that is OK too. "Do look at it with your eyeball!" Wiggins encouraged. Stephens offered the same enthusiasm. "This will be a great way to end 2020," she said. Photos Related Stories
Star-crossed planets: Incredibly rare 'Christmas Star' to appear for the 1st time in 800 years - KSL.com
The two largest planets in our solar system are coming closer together than they have been since the Middle Ages, and it's happening just in time for Christmas.
ATLANTA (CNN) The two largest planets in our solar system are coming closer together than they have been since the Middle Ages, and it's happening just in time for Christmas. So, there are some things to look forward to in the final month of 2020. On the night of Dec. 21, the winter solstice, Jupiter and Saturn will appear so closely aligned in our sky that they will look like a double planet. This close approach is called a conjunction. "Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to one another," said Rice University astronomer and professor of physics and astronomy Patrick Hartigan in a statement. "You'd have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky." If you're a stargazer, you've likely noticed Jupiter and Saturn have been getting closer together since the summer. And they're currently visible in our night sky, inching ever closer to one another. But between Dec. 16 and 25, they will become even cozier. Look for the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction low in the western sky for about an hour after sunset each evening during this time. "On the evening of closest approach on Dec. 21 they will look like a double planet, separated by only 1/5th the diameter of the full Moon," Hartigan said. "For most telescope viewers, each planet and several of their largest moons will be visible in the same field of view that evening." While these two planets may appear close, they are still hundreds of millions of miles apart, according to NASA. A view showing how the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction will appear in a telescope pointed toward the western horizon at 6 p.m. CST, Dec. 21, 2020. The image is adapted from graphics by open-source planetarium software Stellarium. (This work, jupsat1, is adapted from Stellarium by Patrick Hartigan, used under GPL-2.0, and provided under CC BY 4.0 courtesy of Patrick Hartigan) (Photo: Patrick Hartigan, Rice University astronomer) Hope for clear skies because the conjunction will be visible around the world, with the best perspective for those near the equator. "The further north a viewer is, the less time they'll have to catch a glimpse of the conjunction before the planets sink below the horizon," Hartigan said. The planets will be bright enough to be viewed in twilight, which may be the best time for many U.S. viewers to observe the conjunction. "By the time skies are fully dark in Houston, for example, the conjunction will be just 9 degrees above the horizon," Hartigan said. "Viewing that would be manageable if the weather cooperates and you have an unobstructed view to the southwest." If you're in New York or London, or along those latitudes, try to spot the conjunction right after sunset. Waiting an hour after the sun sets will only put the planets closer to the horizon, making them more difficult to spot. Who's ready for some stargazing? This month, we can look forward to meteors, an ultra-close planetary pairing, and the December solstice. Details & downloads: https://t.co/BrqV1v3paRpic.twitter.com/RwGbr3UmQq — NASA Solar System (@NASASolarSystem) December 2, 2020 The best conditions to see this astronomical event will include a clear southwestern horizon and no low clouds in the distance, Hartigan said. Binoculars or a telescope may help you distinguish the planets. A telescope would enable a view of Saturn's rings and the brightest moons of both planets, he said. If you miss this conjunction and want to see the planets with the same proximity, just higher in the sky, it won't happen until March 15, 2080 and then not again until after 2400. Between 0 and 3000 CE, or Common Era, only seven conjunctions were or will be closer than this one and two of those were too close to the sun to be seen without a telescope, according to Hartigan. So, yes, this is an incredibly rare event. The-CNN-Wire & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved. Photos Related Stories
'What happened in the past doesn't matter': 5 things to know about BYU's latest opponent, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers - KSL.com
A week after a heavily reported (and often criticized) failed deal to play Pac-12 foe Washington in Seattle, the No. 8 Cougars will get the chance to back up that claim Saturday on the road against No. 14 Coastal Carolina.
PROVO BYU offensive lineman James Empey wanted to make one thing clear after the Cougars formalized a top 20 matchup with Coastal Carolina on Thursday. The Cougars mean it when they say, "Any team, any time, any place." A week after a heavily reported (and often criticized) failed deal to play Pac-12 foe Washington in Seattle, the No. 8 Cougars (No.13 CFP) will get the chance to back up that claim Saturday on the road against No. 14 Coastal Carolina (3:30 p.m. MST, ESPNU). BYU isn't ducking anyone as the Cougars travel across the country to face one of only two other 9-0 teams in the country in one of just two games nationally featuring opponents ranked in the AP Top 25. "We've said from the beginning that we want to play," Empey said. "Whatever people want to say, they can say. We're just super excited about this game and how it came together so quickly. "What happened in the past doesn't matter no more." "Fake news," added the eloquent and oft-quoted Troy Warner. BYU is replacing the false narrative of a Duck with the Chanticleers, who are No. 18 in the CFP rankings. "I just think it's something we didn't really concern ourselves with," Warner said. "Each person in the locker room wants to play any team in the country. We weren't ducking anybody. We want to play with anybody. "We all saw it as fake news. We know that's not how BYU is run here." BYU defensive back Troy Warner celebrates after an interception against Louisiana Tech at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo. (Photo: Nate Edwards, BYU Photo) Coastal Carolina (9-0) will be the highest-ranked opponent BYU has faced all year, just ahead of Boise State, which was ranked No. 20 nationally before the Cougars' 51-14 win over the Broncos. Make no mistake, the Chanticleers are eager to prove themselves as BYU's equal this year. Both schools rank in the top 40 nationally in scoring offense and scoring defense in the Chants' breakthrough season that will include a berth in the Sun Belt title game on Dec. 19. Historically, the differences between the two schools have been stark, but such is to be expected for a program like Coastal Carolina that started playing football in 2003 and made the jump to the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2015. This is what makes Saturday's game, which will include ESPN's "College GameDay" in tow, that much more important for the Chanticleers. They'll be hosting their first Top 25 opponent at Brooks Stadium. "Obviously, we know the brand that BYU has: a tremendous amount of success and respect for the institution," CCU athletic director Matt Hogue said. "People know that name brand very well. For us to have an opportunity to play against them and to showcase to the nation what we feel about our program, because our program is a rising brand in college athletics, as well; it's tremendous to have that opportunity and to play on this stage. "This is a big part of why we do what we do in this business." Here are five things you should know about the Chanticleers before Saturday afternoon. Coastal Carolina is really good First off, this team is good. Coastal Carolina averages 38.7 points per game and allows just 16.3, the 11tth-best mark nationally. The Chanticleers have a lot of speed and skill, but they do lack one of BYU's prime advantages: size. Among other undersized players, Coastal Carolina starts a 5-foot-9 fifth-year lineman in center Sam Thompson, who has started all nine games of his senior campaign a year after leading an offense that piled up 400 yards or more of offense five times and converted 23 of 29 fourth-down attempts in 2019. He may provoke a stark image standing next to BYU's 6-4 nose tackle Khyiris Tonga or 6-4 rush ends Zac Dawe and Alden Tofa. But Thompson has also anchored an offensive line responsible for protecting Grayson McCall, the redshirt freshman who has thrown for 1,747 yards with 20 touchdowns and just one interception. "We're doing a lot of praying right now, and I know they are, too. 'Cuz they're Mormon," Coastal Carolina head coach Jamey Chadwell said. "They're really good offensively and really good defensively. Their rankings are what they are because they go out and dominate guys. "They're huge, they're big, and they're physical. That's the biggest challenge is the size that they have and the athletes that they have. But our team is resilient, they were excited about playing Liberty, and I know they're excited about playing BYU." This season isn't the most successful in Coastal Carolina's athletic history; the Chanticleers won the College World Series in 2016, so nothing short of a national championship will top ever top that. But Coastal is proving to be more than a baseball school, and more than a one-hit-wonder, in Chadwell's third season taking over for former TD Ameritrade CEO Joe Moglia in 2017. Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall (10) looks for a receiver during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Appalachian State, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Conway, S.C. (Photo: Richard Shiro, Associated Press) The Chanticleers have the most fun BYU basketball head coach Mark Pope likes to say that his team has the "best locker room in the country," with post-win Gatorade showers in victory and pranks ranging from the coaches to players to support staff in Provo. With all due respect to Pope, the Chanticleers' football program, which has been a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision since 2016, presents a viable challenger to that claim. There's been plenty to celebrate, and every win has had its own unique celebration. Chadwell has an analogy for each game week, and a celebration to match that week has ensued during the Chanticleers' 9-0 season. Sometimes, that celebration has included an actual broadsword cutting through the air. On another occasion, the Chants staged an incredibly intricate professional wrestling match including an ode to CCU alum "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Coastal Carolina isn't just winning, and in some cases winning big in its most successful season at the FBS level; they're also having fun doing it. OK, but what the heck is a chanticleer? A lot of mascots come from a lot of places: a school's history, a sportswriter's tag, or a marketing-based branding exercise, to name a few. But Coastal Carolina's mascot comes from the most unique place in all of college sports: Chaucer. The Chanticleer derives from the poet Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Chanticleer and the Fox," a fable in the classic "The Nun's Priest Tales," and was adapted for the university in the early 1960s. Up to that point, Coastal athletics were referred to as "Trojans." So what is a chanticleer? Here's Chaucer, in his own words, on the rooster "whose crowing there was not equal in all the land." "His voice was merrier than the merry organ that plays in church, and his crowing from his resting place was more trustworthy than a clock," Chaucer wrote. "His comb was redder than fine coral and turreted like a castle wall, his bill was black and shone like a jet, and his legs and toes were like azure. His nails were whiter than the lily and his feathers were like burnished gold." Your move, Cosmo. The Chants' teal field is BYU has already played on one visually disruptive football-playing surface: the fabled blue turf in Boise that has also become iconic in the sport, and purely representative of Boise State's brand. But the Broncos' bastion of blue in Boise isn't the only non-green-colored field in the nation. There's the red turf at Eastern Washington, the purple field of Central Arkansas, and the gray-and-green field of Eastern Michigan that routinely makes ESPN home broadcasts look like a replay of the Tobey Maguire/Reese Witherspoon classic, "Pleasantville." On Saturday, BYU will be faced with its toughest challenge of the season on another visually stunning masterpiece: the teal field of Coastal Carolina, commonly called the "Surf Turf." The Chanticleers installed the unique turf in 2015, and the all-teal everywhere of the university has inspired the budding national movement that is #TealNation. Coastal Carolina's Teal Turf rendering @CCUJoeMogliapic.twitter.com/I3DFu6dDVC — Coastal Carolina Athletics (@GoCCUsports) January 23, 2015 And the mullets Last but not least is the thing that stands out most about Coastal Carolina and it's not the ranking, the high-powered offense, the one-of-a-kind mascot, or the locker room celebrations. It's the mullets. Look up and down the roster, and you'll see a common thread among several key players: business in the front, party in the back. That's how the Chanticleers define their season unless, of course, BYU gives them a season-defining win. "That's news to me," BYU's Warner said. "But more power to them." Related Links More stories you may be interested in