UPR News

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.

Restaurant Focusing On Consumer Contact Surfaces

Apr 23, 2020

On Wednesday, Utah State University’s Dr. Brian Nummer and other food science professors across the country gave a webinar on Food Safety and COVID-19.

 After a few days of confirmed coronavirus cases in Utah increasing at a rate of 4.5%, cases increased by 5% on Thursday. As of 1 p.m. on Thursday, there are 3,612 cases of the virus in the state-- 167 new ones since Wednesday.


“Vernal strong” is the motto right now in one Unitah Basin community as residents work together to help each other through not only the global pandemic, but also the downturn in the oil and gas  industry which has hit the community hard. 

Developing A SARS_CoV_2 Vaccine, Part 1

Apr 22, 2020

Medical experts call for testing and containment as states slowly open for business. But the long-term defense  against a viral pandemic requires the development of a preventive vaccine.

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. 


A new rule proposed by the United States Department of Agriculture would allow schools participating in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program to serve less fruit, fewer whole grains, fewer varieties of vegetables and more starchy vegetables. Advocates of healthy eating said this  proposal would weaken the nutrition standards and could hurt more than 300 thousand students in Utah. 

There are 3,296 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Utah, as of 1 p.m. on Tuesday. This is an increase of 83 cases or 3% since Monday. State epidemiologist Angela Dunn said in today's media briefing that Utah's positive rate has dropped slightly from 5% to 4.5%. Four new deaths were also reported by Dunn on Tuesday, including the first COVID-19 related death in the Bear River Health Department. 

Standard Examiner

The American Lung Association recently released their annual State of the Air report.

Will Barrett is the Director of Clean Air advocacy for the American Lung Association.

“Nearly half of Americans live in counties that have unhealthy ozone or particle pollution.  Unfortunately that includes about two and a half million people in the Salt Lake City region," Barrett said.

Utah’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Peterson announced via Facebook video on Monday that Karina Andelin Brown will be his running mate in the 2020 election. Brown has made a name for herself as an advocate for healthcare, despite only being involved in public affairs for a few years. Brown was one of the five cosponsors for Proposition 3 on Medicaid expansion.



On Friday, leaders representing 13 different faiths from across the state held a virtual prayer group via Youtube Live. Those participating prayed for relief from the coronavirus. 

Mapping Literary Utah

Years ago, Paisley Rekdal created a digital community project that mapped the people, places, buildings and events that defined Salt Lake City. When she became Utah’s poet laureate, she decided to build on this idea and create a literary map for the entire state.

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.

Meat packing plants are struggling to process enough livestock for consumers during COVID-19.  Producers say consumers are stocking up on essentials, including meat, during a time when protecting processing plant employees can be difficult.

West Jordan law enforcement continue to looks for leads into who shot and killed a Utah husband and wife over the weekend.  30-year-old Katherine Butterfield and her husband, 31-year-old Tony Butterfield, were found Saturday night in their home.  Police believe the couple was killed during a home invasion.


COVID-19 has caused many students to face both acute and significant financial hardships. Many students have been asking if they could be refunded their student fees for the semester. Although Morales said this is not possible, USU is working to help students.

Utah Coronavirus Update, Friday, April 17

Apr 17, 2020

The Utah Department of Health announced 122 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday afternoon, bringing the statewide total to 2,805. The virus has caused two new deaths and six more hospitalizations.

In lieu of the typical daily update, Gov. Gary Herbert joined with representatives from the state senate, house, local commerce and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to announce the “Utah Leads Together 2.0” plan aimed at a phased reopening of the state’s commerce on May 1.

LDS Church to partner with University of Utah and Intermountain Healthcare to sew 5 million "clinical grade" masks for healthcare providers and other frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tadeáš Bednarz / Wikimedia Commons

On Friday, state officials announced the second iteration of the “Utah Leads Together” plan. Through this plan, private industry is partnering with the healthcare community and religious groups to not only get Utah’s economy functioning normally again, but to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the state. Derek Miller, president of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance, said the partnership between the public and private sectors represents “the Utah way” of coming together to help the state, as a whole. 

USU Updates On Fall 2020 Semester

Apr 17, 2020

When USU President Noelle Cockett addressed the university community Friday in a virtual town hall, a topic of concern was how the upcoming fall semester will be held. 

USU Town Hall With President Noelle Cockett

Apr 17, 2020

On Friday, President Noelle Cocket held a town hall to provide updates and answer questions related to COVID-19. You can watch the meeting here.

Credit Mangoman88

In response to the global pandemic, Utah lawmakers started a special legislative session on Thursday morning. The session marked the first time lawmakers called themselves into a session since the state’s constitution was amended in 2018 to give them the power to do so and the first time they held a session via video conferencing. 

National Park Closure Leads To Layoffs In Moab

Apr 16, 2020
With National Parks closed due to the coronavirus, Utah's tourism industry is shutdown, leading to layoffs and loss of income.
Chao Yen / Flickr

The weeks surrounding Easter are generally some of the busiest for Canyonlands National Park, but due to closures surrounding the coronavirus, the red rocks are empty following the March 28 announcement from the National Park Service.