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PM News Brief: Breweries Shut Down, Moab Closes Hotels & Special Shopping for Seniors

A photo of a woman in an aisle looking at apples.
Charlotte90T via Flickr
Some grocery stores in Utah are setting aside one hour to let seniors shop alone. Older residents are considered to be at high risk for coronavirus.

Tuesday afternoon, March 17, 2020


Utah COVID-19 Cases Update

The total number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Utah has risen to 52, 10 of whom are out-of-state visitors and 42 are residents. Most of those cases are concentrated in Salt Lake and Summit Counties. Officials say travel to another country is no longer an important criteria for testing. — David Fuchs, St. George

District Court Postpones Jury Trials

The U.S. District Court in Utah announced all jury trials scheduled to start before May 1 are being postponed until further notice. Criminal jury trials that have already started will continue but hearings in those trials should be conducted over the phone or video conference, according to a court order. The order also requires the U.S. Marshal Service to ensure that newly arrested people are getting health screenings before appearing in court. — Sonja Hutson

Grocery Stores Set Up Special Senior Shopping Hours

Grocery stores in Utah are implementing special shopping hours for senior citizens. Stores like Dollar General and Smith’s will dedicate their first hour after opening to seniors only, who are considered high risk individuals for contracting coronavirus. Some stores are also waiving curb-side pick-up fees for customers over the age of 60. — Grace Osusky


Moab Closes Hotels To Tourists

Hotels In Moab will be closed to tourists for the next 30 days because of coronavirus. The measure applies to all overnight lodging in Grand, Carbon, and Emery counties. That includes RV parks, private campgrounds and private rentals, like Airbnb. Read the full story. — Kate Groetzinger, Banding

First Navajo Nation COVID-19 Case

The Navajo Nation reported its first case of COVID-19 on Tuesday. A 46-year-old man from Northern Arizona tested positive for the virus at a hospital in Phoenix. The man was transported to Phoenix from a clinic in Kayenta, which is less than 30 miles from the Utah-Arizona border. In a statement, Navajo Nation president Jonathan Nez encouraged Navajo people to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus. The president will provide more information Wednesday at 5 p.m. on the radio station KTNN. — Kate Groetzinger, Banding


Homeless Shelters Deal With Coronavirus

People experiencing homelessness are at an increased risk for complications from coronavirus because their underlying medical conditions often go untreated. People in shelters are not being kept 6 feet away from each other, the recommended distance to avoid transmitting the virus. Homeless shelters are educating people who stay there on prevention, providing cleaning materials and asking clients if they are experiencing symptoms. Read KUER’s full story here. — Sonja Hutson

UTA Suspends Bus Routes

Utah’s Transit Authority will be changing some routes in response to coronavirus. TRAX and Paratransit will continue regular services and the FrontRunner will be reduced to three-car passenger trains. Eight bus routes — that go to closed work centers, schools or ski resorts — have been suspended, while others have been limited. — Jessica Lowell


Coronavirus Slows Down Brewery Industry

As government officials start shutting down gathering places to curb the spread of COVID-19, Mountain West breweries are worried. Some will be kept afloat because they sell their beer at grocery stores and others can keep their taprooms open but only to sell beer to go. The closures are leading to immediate layoffs across the industry and many staffers have been directed to file for unemployment. Read the full story. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

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