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Photo of the dome of the Utah capitol building
Cory Dinter / KUER

State Sen. Dan Hemmert, R-Orem, is planning to sponsor a bill aimed at protecting the privacy of Utahns who use the state’s COVID-19 voluntary contact tracing app. 

Photo of a man testing samples in a lab
Courtesy of Danielle Zebelean

Since the end of March, Utah researchers have been testing wastewater in an attempt to track the spread of the coronavirus in the state. It’s an experimental program whose first phase ended Friday. Now the data will be turned over to the state’s Department of Health for analysis.

Photo of a fire burning the golden grasses at the base of a hillside and covering the feature in smoke
Photo courtesy of the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands

ST. GEORGE — The past week was a blur for firefighter Mike Melton.

An aerial image shows two large ponds of uranium tailings with Sleeping Ute Mountain in the background.
Tim Peterson/LightHawk

When the White Mesa Mill was built in 1980, it was permitted to process domestic uranium ore for 15 years.

Photo of the woman speaking during a video conference
City of Midvale

State and local governments have moved public meetings online in order to help slow the spread of coronavirus. They’ve had to figure out how to balance security and public access

Photo of a street in Kaysville
City of Kaysville website

Utah Business Revival, a group of small business owners that want to fully reopen Utah’s economy, plans to host a concert later this month in Kaysville. It’s the same group that held a protest in Salt Lake City last month, opposing stay-at-home orders.

Photo of a TRAX train.
Brian Albers / KUER

Public transportation ridership in Utah has plummeted since the coronavirus pandemic began. 

Photo of a red and black playstation controller
Ross Terrell / KUER

Video games have been a welcome distraction for many people while social distancing, but for a few they can create problems, too. A new study from Brigham Young University looked at video game addiction over the course of six years. 

Photo of bar stools on top of tables
Kelsie Moore / RadioWest Films

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has shattered small businesses around the country. 

Photo of Lauren McCluskey
Courtesy University of Utah

In October 2018, University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey’s ex-boyfriend shot and killed her on campus. Before she was killed, McCluskey went to university police to report that someone was trying to extort her over intimate photos.

Photo illustration of an outdoor concert
TopVectors via iStock

Most of Utah has moved to the yellow, low-risk level of the state’s coronavirus recovery plan, and some people are beginning to think about large scale events. 

Two nurses wearing protective gowns talk to people in cars in a parking lot.
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

BLANDING — While COVID-19 is ravaging the Navajo Nation in San Juan County, there have been fewer than 10 confirmed cases in Blanding, where less than 200 people have been tested for the disease. 

A woman in personal protective equipment stands in the driveway of a health clinic in Monument Valley.
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

BLANDING – As a triage nurse in Monument Valley, Utah, Amber Rasmussen stands in the parking lot all day, testing people for COVID-19. 

On a typical day, she sees 20 to 30 patients, many of whom arrive at the Utah Navajo Health System clinic with severe COVID-19 symptoms. 

Photo of county health department road sign.
iStock.com / sshepard

After a failed attempt to limit local governments’ authority over stay at home orders during April’s special session, Utah lawmakers plan to try again. 

Photo of a campus map on the Utah State University campus
Brian Albers / KUER

Public universities throughout Utah and the country received money as part of the federal CARES Act, an economic relief package in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Institutions, though, are required to disburse half of that funding to students. 

An aerial shot shows an audience seated on a lawn watching an outdoor stage
Courtesy of Utah Shakespeare Festival

ST. GEORGE — Canceling the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s 2020 season because of COVID-19 was a decision executive producer Frank Mack hoped he wouldn’t have to make.

Photo of the arch
Jan Willem Broekema via Creative Commons

BLUFF — Business has completely dried up at Canyonlands Jeep Adventures in Moab. 

Photo of oil pump.
iStock.com / DennyThurstonPhotography

State lawmakers met Wednesday to review an audit on how Utah’s Community Impact Board, or CIB, has been using funds. 

Photo of capitol facade.
Brian Albers / KUER

Utah lawmakers met Wednesday to discuss plans to cut up to $1.3 billion out of the state’s budget for the next fiscal year.

Photo of houses in Park City
ISTOCK/TraceRouda

In mid March, Summit County reported the first known case of COVID-19 via community spread. Soon after, its health department issued the state’s first stay-at-home order March 25. By then, the county’s peak tourism season was nearly over, and the order required all out-of-town visitors to leave by April 1. 

Photo of the Utah state capitol dome
Austen Diamond / KUER

During April’s virtual special session, the Utah Legislature created the Public Health and Economic Emergency Commission to make policy recommendations to the governor on how the state should respond to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Photo of ballot envelope.
Renee Bright / KUER

The June 30 primary election will be conducted entirely by mail under a new state law. Seven counties will give their residents the option to pick up a ballot in their car on election day if they don’t get one in the mail. 

Picture of sign that says “La posada pintada,” with a small hotel and bluffs in the background.
Kate Groetzinger / KUER

The Town of Bluff will remain under the red, high risk category in the Governor’s pandemic reopening plan. The state gave the town permission to continue implementing strict guidelines for businesses, as the rest of Utah moves from high to moderate risk. 

Photo of houses in Salt Lake City.
Brian Albers / KUER

Utah’s eviction moratorium for those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic ends May 15, after which landlords can begin serving notices to tenants who haven’t paid April or May rent. 

Photo of the entrance to the fairpark
Wikimedia Commons

Minority communities are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, according to demographic data from the Utah Department of Health. Early efforts to spread information about the virus failed to reach non-English speaking communities, but now several initiatives are underway to target hotspots in vulnerable communities, including one launching this weekend.

A winding river cuts through red rock canyons
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance courtesy photo

The Bureau of Land Management is considering leasing over 100,000 acres of public land around Moab to energy companies, raising concerns about effects on both tourism and conservation efforts. 

Photo of a man in a suit standing behind a wooden podium
Sonja Hutson / KUER

The four Republican candidates for governor shared their plans — and criticized current approaches — to help Utah’s economy recover from the downturn spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. The candidates laid out their views Thursday, during a forum hosted by the Salt Lake Chamber and EDCUtah. 

Photo of Meds in Motion building in Draper.
Andrew Becker / KUER

The pharmacy that Utah contracted with to buy controversial malaria medications to treat COVID-19 has a history of problems identified by state investigators and inspectors, according to interviews and records obtained by KUER. 

Photo of northeast quadrant wetlands.
Brian Albers / KUER

The Utah Inland Port Authority met with environmental, business and other stakeholders Wednesday to discuss its strategy moving forward.

Utah's Gig Economy Hit Hard By Coronavirus

May 7, 2020
Photo of a sign that says airbnb on the outside of a building
Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine via Flickr

More than 14,000 gig workers and self-employed people have applied for unemployment in Utah over the past two weeks, including people working for ridesharing apps and Airbnb. 

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