Matilyn Mortensen

News Director| Web Manager

matilyn.mortensen@usu.edu

A Utah native, Matilyn graduated from Utah State University in 2019 with a B.S. in journalism and communication. During her undergraduate degree, Matilyn worked at Utah Public Radio as a general reporting intern. After graduation, she covered city and county government at the Logan Herald Journal for a year before returning to UPR. 

When not working to bring you accurate, timely, local news, Matilyn enjoys reading, painting, traveling, and trying new food. 

 

Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert announced on Tuesday that due to pre-existing health concerns, Dr. Joe Minor, the executive director of the Utah Department of Health, would not be able to take care of the day-to-day responsibilities of the department during the coronavirus pandemic. 

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State officials announced a plan on Monday to provide free child care to essential employees, like health care workers and first responders, while school is out during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing requirements have led to many churches to close to the public.
Sari Huella / Wikimedia Commons

During the Easter season is when many churches are busy collecting palm leaves, planning choir programs and preparing for one of the most important days in christianity. But this year, churches across the world are implementing changes, like going digital, to continue to provide services while maintaining social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. 

This weekend, the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Utah reached over 700. The state has reported only two deaths related to the disease, but the families of two additional people have said their loved ones also passed away from the virus. These numbers bring the death count to at least four. 

The second death related to the coronavirus has been reported in Utah on Friday. 

State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said in the briefing at 1 p.m. on Friday that this individual was from the south-western part of the state and died in a hospital in Salt Lake County. The individual was an adult under the age of 60 with underlying medical conditions. 

Logan City

Logan City officials announced on Friday all playgrounds would be closed as part of an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

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During this global pandemic, many medical decisions are having to be made about who can receive what kind of care. Disability rights activists, like Storee Powell, who works at the Center for Person’s with Disabilities at Utah State University, said many of the current policies are discriminatory. UPR’s Matilyn Mortensen spoke with Powell about why she finds these attitudes so concerning.

Confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Utah now exceed 400. The case count in the state increased by 56 positive tests between Wednesday and Thursday, bringing the total of residents who have tested positive to 388 and the number of visitors t0 14, for a total of 402 cases total.

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On Wednesday evening, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced  the closure of all of the church's temples around the world.

Confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Utah increased by almost 50 between Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  There are 346 positive tests in the state right out of the 6,837 tests that have reportedly been completed. Fourteen people who have tested positive for the virus in Utah are visitors to the state.

Grocery stores unstocked due to panic-buying over the coronavirus.
prettyinprint / Flickr

As the global coronavirus pandemic continues, more and more people are relying on the services of non-profits. UPR’s Kat Webb has been visiting with different non-profit leaders in Cache County and today, our news director, Matilyn Mortensen, had a conversation with her about what she’s been hearing.  

State of Utah

A plan drafted by public and private leaders on addressing both health and economic reovery in Utah in response to the coronavirus pandemic was released on Wednesday afternoon. 

In an effort to help healthcare providers preserve the existing supply of personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, all non-essential medical, dental and veterinary procedures in the state have been restricted, starting March 25 and going until April 25.

Last week, Utah State University was among the eight state schools in Utah that announced it would not be holding commencement in the spring in an effort to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. University officials announced on Monday that commencement has been rescheduled for the end of August. 

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With blood drives being canceled all over the country, The American Red Cross is beginning to experience a “crisis within a crisis” -- a dangerously low blood supply. People throughout Utah have been wondering how they can help during this pandemic. One way is by taking the time to donate blood. 

Confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Utah are now at 257 people and over 5,000 have been reportedly tested. 

On Sunday, a Utah man over the age of 60 passed away due to complications related to the coronavirus. According to the Utah Department of Health announcement in relation to his death, the man was from Davis County, had underlying medical conditions and had been hospitalized for two days prior to his death. 

In an effort to combat hand sanitizer shortages, the FDA has allowed businesses holding distilled spirits plant permits to make and sell sanitizer. Ogden’s Own Distillery, the maker of Five Wives Vodka and Porter’s Whiskey, began selling a sanitizer product on Friday. 

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Efforts to eliminate large gatherings continue across the state in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and on Wednesday all eight public universities in Utah announced their commencement ceremonies will be rescheduled or canceled. 

The Utah State Board of Education has waived the requirement for 180 school days and 990 educational hours and is suspending statewide assessments because of both the state and national state of emergency declarations regarding the coronavirus pandemic. 

 

As of Thursday afternoon, there are 78 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Utah. The number of visitors to the state who have tested positively is still 10 and the number of Utahns who have been diagnosed with the virus is 68. 

Utah Senate

Senator Deidre Henderson began her political career over a decade ago when she worked on Jason Chaffez’s congressional campaign. In 2012 she was elected to represent Utah Senate District 7 and now she will be adding something else to her political resume-- candidate for lieutenant governor.

Utah State Senate

On Thursday morning, Lt. Govenor Spencer Cox announced Utah state Senator Deidre Henderson would be his running mate for Utah's 2020 gubenatorial race. 

Between the earthquake and cornoavirus news, there has been a lot to keep up with on Wednesday. Here are some of the newest developments with COVID-19.

As social distancing measures are being taken during the global coronavirus pandemic, many Utahns may find themselves in need of additional food resources. Utahns Against Hunger have compiled a list of resources that are avalible. That list can be found here.

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Between efforts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and the largest earthquake Utah has seen in 28 years, there is a lot of uncertainty right now. It’s hard for everyone to deal with, but children especially may find themselves confused when large, scary, current events like these dominate the news cycle. 

Wednesday's press conference was cancelled due to the earthquake earlier in the day, so the daily Utah Health Department updates on the spread of coronavirus in Utah were provided online. 

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