(Salt Lake City) – Use of the risk score calculator has evolved throughout the pandemic, but has always relied on current clinical data of COVID-19 patients. Given the extreme scarcity of COVID-19 treatments due to the prevalence of the omicron variant, we are re-evaluating the calculator and comparing it to current data to determine what factors best capture those at most at-risk for severe disease, hospitalization, and death.
The risk score calculator for COVID-19 treatments was created in 2020 in partnership with the state’s Scarce Medications Allocation Subcommittee of the Utah Crisis Standards of Care Workgroup and is based on data and research provided by Intermountain Healthcare. That research evaluated more than 100,000 Utahns who tested positive for COVID-19 and controlled for several variables, including age, gender, symptoms, chronic medical conditions, and geography. The research found non-white race or Hispanic/Latinx people are 35-50% more likely to be hospitalized.
Some factors automatically qualify a person for treatment (such as residence in a long-term care facility, unvaccinated pregnant women, or severe immunocompromising condition). This is because these individuals have the highest risk of the most severe outcomes of COVID-19.
Nobody automatically qualifies for treatment based on their race/ethnicity.
For those who do not automatically qualify, the risk score was developed to include other factors proven to increase risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Each factor in the risk score represents a condition or characteristic that has been shown to put a person at elevated risk for severe disease or hospitalization.
Each risk factor is assigned a certain amount of points, and a person’s total score determines if they may qualify for treatment. Currently, a person must score 10 (for a vaccinated person) or 7.5 (for an unvaccinated person) in order to qualify for treatment.
Points are assigned to factors such as sex, age, pre-existing conditions, current symptoms, and race/ethnicity. A person who is non-white or Hispanic/Latinx receives two points due to being more likely to be hospitalized based on the Intermountain Healthcare data referenced above.