Coronavirus News

UPR has been presenting special programs that we’re calling COVID-19 CONVERSATIONS, answering your questions about the pandemic. We’re going to resume our conversation on the next Access Utah.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert lowers the coronavirus risk level in the state, with some notable regional exceptions. The new revelations about the no-bid, multimillion dollar state contracts for And a deep dive into what we know - and don't know - about coronavirus immunity. 

Intermountain Healthcare (IHC) sent 50 caregivers to New York hospitals to help fight the coronavirus, COVID-19.
Intermountain Healthcare

A crisis response team of 50 Intermountain Healthcare workers was sent to New York to help some of the hardest-hit hospitals in the United States handle the coronavirus in April. They've returned from their two-week experience with hospitals overrun with the virus with a newfound respect for the virus and humanity's resilience.

Salt Lake Tribune

The spike in coronavirus cases on the Navajo Nation. The occasional conflicts playing out in Utah businesses over mask-wearing. And the Utah lawmaker calling for a full reopening of the state, despite the recommendations of public health officials. 

Utah Coronavirus Update, Thursday, May 7

May 7, 2020

The Utah Department of Health announced 129 new cases of the coronavirus in the state as of 1 p.m. on Thursday. Of the 5,724 total confirmed cases, 2,640 have recovered and 476 have been hospitalized due to the virus. According to state epidemiologist Angela Dunn, there are currently 96 Utahns with the coronavirus who are hospitalized. Along with the 13 new hospitalizations, an additional three deaths were announced — bringing Utah’s total to 61.

Can Parts Of Utah Move To 'Yellow' This Week?

May 6, 2020

Last week, Gov. Gary Herbert said he hoped the state’s risk could drop from "Orange" — moderate risk — to the  "Yellow" — or low risk —  zone within the next few weeks. In fact, mayors and county commissioners in Southwestern Utah (including in Washington, Iron and Kane counties) asked if they could make the transition immediately. This request was denied by the Utah Department of Health on Monday. 

SARS-COV2 coronavirus antibody serology testing increasing at Intermountain Healthcare, but only if recommended by physician.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

There is evidence the first known coronavirus-related death in the United States occurred on Feb. 5. What does this mean for individuals, like Kelly Bradbury, who were sick at that time but unable to get tested? 

Coronavirus business closures, opening business economy, escape room
Andy Atkinson

On its third anniversary, Andy Atkinson’s Locked In Escape Room in Logan was able to reopen after coronavirus-related shutdowns. Though Gov. Gary Herbert’s announcement that Utah was moving to the ‘moderate’ risk category meant Atkinson could choose to reopen his business, it didn’t make the decision any easier.

A couple of weeks ago, UPR presented a special program called COVID-19 CONVERSATION, answering your questions about the pandemic. We’re going to resume our conversation on the next Access Utah. As the state moves from Red to Orange level, we’ll ask what that means and how it affects you.

Today, the Utah Department of Health released a “mobile strike team” in its first voyage, according to state epidemiologist Angela Dunn. She said the team was sent to a residential living facility for mentally disabled individuals needing immediate care in Utah County where an outbreak of the coronavirus hit. The team cared for 15 of the 40 residents who’ve tested positive. Nine staff members were initially determined to have contracted the coronavirus.

Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah suspends its contract with a controversial surveillance company after its founder is revealed to have once been an active member of the Ku Klux Klan. Questions emerge about the TestUtah initiative after data shows a lower positive test rate than is seen in other labs. And Utah gets a refund for the $800,000 it spent on malaria drugs to treat COVID-19. 

Utah VMA, DMV Announce COVID-19 Updates

Apr 29, 2020
The Air Force F-35A Lightning II Demonstration and 388th Fighter Wing will be performing a formation flyover throughout the state of Utah, Thursday, 30 April, beginning at 1 p.m., in salute to everyone on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19.
David Perry / U.S. Air Force

As Utah continues to hold about a 4% growth rate of coronavirus cases, Monte Roberts, the director of Utah’s Department of Motor Vehicles, said up to six of the state's DMVs will be opened for appointment-only and drive-thru business starting on Friday. 

While social distancing and event cancellations make it harder for organizations to connect the public to humanities projects, Deena Pyle at Utah Humanities created a Virtual Campfire campaign to increase public involvement, connection and conversations.

Deena Pyle, the communication director for the non-profit Utah Humanities, said she’s impressed and inspired by the ways people are fighting to stay connected despite all of the social distancing initiatives enacted in the state to slow the spread of the coronavirus. So inspired, she created the organization’s Virtual Campfire social media and email campaign to encourage conversations about the impact of the humanities in our lives.

Gov. Gary Herbert announced Utah will be transitioning from “red,” or the high-risk category in terms of the coronavirus pandemic, to “orange,” or moderate risk, on Friday. 

Utah Coronavirus Update, Tuesday, April 28

Apr 28, 2020

Four new deaths and 110 new coronavirus cases were confirmed by Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Of the 102,439 people tested for the virus, Utah has seen 4,343 positive cases. In the daily press conference, Gov. Gary Herbert said the state is capable of testing 6,000 people per day, and the labs have the capacity to analyze up to 9,000 tests per day. 

In Monday's press conference to update the state on the coronavirus, state epidemiologist Angela Dunn said Utah is increasing community tracing efforts to get a better sense of how far the virus is spreading as businesses and restaraunts plan to start reopening. She said while the current tracing efforts question the past two days after a person receives a positive test result, Utahns with the virus will now be asked to report contacts from the past seven days of being tested. 

On Friday, during the daily update on the state’s coronavirus efforts, Gov. Gary Herbert said the state has not yet taken possession of the 20,000 units of Hydroxychloroquine previously ordered (costing the state $800,000) to treat coronavirus cases in Utah.

Gardeners' and Farmers' markets are important socially, but even more crucial for rural food and agriculture's economic status. With new precautions, Utah's markets are moving forward and following UDAF, local health department guidelines.

The Cache Valley Gardeners’ Market has always opened on Mother’s Day weekend, and Mary Laine, the market manager, said this year will keep up the tradition — though with new precautions due to the coronavirus.

John Locher | Associated Press

Utah officials say they’re still exploring buying 200,000 treatments of a malaria drug, despite a recent study showing it does more harm than good in the fight against COVID-19. Lawmakers meet for their second special session this month. And the latest news from the Utah governor’s race. 

Uintah County Library

After being closed for over a month, the Uintah County Library began a “soft opening” this week. The library staff is continuing to work to provide community resources, while social distancing.

Stress, anxiety, domestic violence rates rise due to the coronavirus pandemic. Utah increasing free resources to cope with COVID-19, coronavirus-related mental health issues.
Rido / Adobe Stock

There’s an ever-growing number of free telephone and online resources for Utahns who are dealing with stress and anxiety brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and related job losses. Morissa Henn, the Community Health program director at Intermountain Healthcare, is part of the group that formed the Emotional Health Relief Hotline to help Utahns with mental-health needs as they arise. 

Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune

On Tuesday's Access Utah, we check in with Utah legislators about the historic special session that began last week in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In Monday's daily coronavirus update, state epidemiologist Angela Dunn said Utah's low case numbers means a higher vulnerability if there is a resurgence of COVID-19 in the fall.
Utah Department of Health

Utah is seeing evidence that social distancing and isolation efforts have paid off in flattening of the curve of COVID-19’s spread, according to state epidemiologist Angela Dunn in Monday's daily coronavirus update. But because of Utah’s low numbers, Dunn said the state will be more vulnerable if there is a second outbreak of the virus in the fall because of decreased herd immunity.