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News Briefs

PM News Brief: Elective Procedures Banned, Unemployment Rises, & Five All-Americans

Photo of gymnasts competing
Scott Heffield via Flickr
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Five University of Utah gymnasts have been named regular season All-Americans for the first time in their career.

Tuesday evening, March 24, 2020

STATE

Unemployment Claims On The Rise In Utah 

Unemployment claims rose 30% last week in Utah, as hotels and restaurants closed their doors. The Department of Workforce Services expects that number to rise as more businesses go into survival mode. It’s urging people to apply online as officials said it’s still the fastest way to file a claim. That’ll help free up staff to start processing those claims. Read the full story. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

Health Officials Restrict Non-Urgent Procedures

Starting Wednesday, elective medical procedures performed by doctors, dentists, or veterinarians will be banned through April 25. State health officials announced the move Tuesday as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Utah continue to rise, now up to 298. Officials hope that will help ration personal protective equipment, like gloves and masks. The department of health has also expanded its criteria for testing to include people with more mild symptoms like fevers, coughing or shortness of breath. — Jessica Lowell

Aimee Winder Newton Picks Gubernatorial Running Mate

Salt Lake County Councilwoman and gubernatorial candidate Aimee Winder Newton has tapped state auditor John Dougall as her running mate. She said Dougall, who also spent 10 years in the state Legislature, is a “champion of fiscal responsibility,” pointing to a 2007 tax reform bill he cosponsored, which created a flat state income tax rate of 5%. Dougall said as lieutenant governor he would provide more transparency and accountability for the state’s budget. — Sonja Hutson

NORTHERN UTAH

Five University Of Utah Gymnasts Named All-Americans

Five University of Utah gymnasts have been named regular season All-Americans for the first time in their career. They earned the selections for their performances ranging from vault to uneven bars, beams and even floor routine. To be named an All-American, qualifying scores must rank in the top-16 in the nation. However, the Red Rock’s season ended early because of the coronavirus outbreak. — Jessica Lowell

SOUTHERN UTAH

Navajo Nation Ordered To Shelter In Place

The Navajo Nation has implemented a shelter-in-place order after a spike in coronavirus cases last week. Navajo Nation President Nez first issued the order for Chilchenbeto, Arizona, after a resident there tested positive on March 17. Police Chief Phillip Francisco said the nation’s police department has set up checkpoints on major roads to ask people to limit travel. There are currently 39 confirmed cases of coronavirus on the Navajo Nation. No cases have been reported on the reservation in Utah. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

Region

Colorado Abolishes Death Penalty

Colorado became the latest state to abolish the death penalty this week when Gov. Jared Polis signed the new law on Monday. But most states in the Mountain West still allow capital punishment, including Utah. Across the region, there have been no death penalty executions since 2012 in Idaho. — Amanda Peacher, Mountain West News Bureau

 

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