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News Briefs

PM News Brief: Restaurants Closing, Reporting Price Gouging & Romney's Economic Relief Plan

Photo of a number on a table in a restaurant
Brian Albers
/
KUER
Salt Lake County officials will ban dining in at restaurants to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, they announced Monday.

Monday evening, March 16, 2020

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

STATE

Economic Impact Of Coronavirus

Seventy-six percent of Salt Lake City businesses have lost more than a tenth of their revenue due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a survey from the city, as people stay inside to slow the spread of the virus. In an attempt to ease that economic burden, Mayor Erin Mendenhall plans to ask the City Council during its Tuesday meeting to allocate $1 million for a flexible, low-interest rate loan program. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Delivering Internet By Bus

As schools and businesses gear up for closures, school districts in Utah are looking for ways to keep learning going outside the classroom. It’s a particular challenge for districts in rural areas, which can be geographically spread out and don’t always have reliable internet access. But some are finding new ways to keep students connected: outfitting school buses with internet connections and parking them in strategic locations. Read the full story. — Jon Reed

State Asks People To Report Price Gouging

Utah’s Department of Commerce is asking people to report any cases of price gouging. State law prohibits excessive prices on retail goods and services during a state of emergency. Gov. Gary Herbert declared one on March 6 in preparation for a coronavirus outbreak. According to a press release from the department, people have already started filing complaints. The fines for price gouging can be as high as $1,000 per violation, with a maximum of $10,000 per day. — Ross Terrell

NORTHERN UTAH

Salt Lake County Closes Restaurants

Salt Lake County officials have declared a public health emergency and will ban dining in at restaurants to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. The order also requires all retail and service-oriented businesses to stop sick workers from coming in and try to keep customers at least six feet apart. Violating the order, which goes into effect at 11 p.m. Monday, is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine or six months in jail. — Sonja Hutson

Jazz Player Speaks Out About Coronavirus

Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert shared a video online saying he wishes he would have taken COVID-19 more seriously. He tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Last Monday, Gobert joked about coronavirus, touching microphones and recorders after a press conference. And a few days later, he became the first player in the NBA to test positive, causing the league to suspend its season. His teammate, Donovan Mitchell, also tested positive. Mitchell announced Monday that he’s donating money to the Granite School District to cover meals for students while classes are on hold. Gobert made a similar announcement on Saturday. — Jessica Lowell

REGION

Ski Resorts Close

Restaurants, bars and major ski resorts have begun to temporarily shut down across the region this week in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. But economists say it’s still too early to understand the full breadth of how these closures will impact the West’s booming tourism economy. Read the full story. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

NATION

Romney Proposes $1,000 For Every American Adult

U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney is proposing a coronavirus economic relief package. It includes grants for small businesses, deferring student loan payments for recent grads and giving $1,000 to every American adult. The stipend would cost an estimated $100 billion. Romney said he’s opposed to raising the national debt but that this situation calls for "whatever action is necessary." — Jessica Lowell

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