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PM News Brief: Free Childcare, Online Summer Classes & Political Polls

Photo of children playing on a playground
unionland via Flickr
Essential employees in Utah, like health care and grocery store workers, will have access to free childcare, under a newly created state program.

Monday evening, March 30, 2020


Essential Workers To Get Free Childcare

Under the newly created One Utah Child Care program, essential employees in the state, like health care and grocery store workers, will have access to free childcare. The program announced Monday is in response to the coronavirus outbreak that has closed down schools until at least May 1. At least 10 options will be available starting Wednesday, with more options becoming available in the near future. The facilities that are participating in the program will remain open as long as schools are closed. — Jessica Lowell

COVID-19 Cases Break The 800 Barrier

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Utah were up to 806 Monday, with 19 of those being visitors. State Epidemiologist Angela Dunn says only 10% of confirmed cases are unclear on where they contracted the disease and Utah's hospitalization rate is even lower. Dunn said social distancing is working, especially since the number of cases here are growing slower than in neighboring states. There have also been four coronavirus related deaths in Utah. — Jessica Lowell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Spencer Cox And Jon Huntsman Tied Atop Polls

Former Gov. Jon Huntsman and Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox are essentially tied in Utah’s gubernatorial race, according to a new poll obtained by Utah Policy. The state’s Republican primary is three months away, and 30% of Republican voters said they’d vote for Cox, while 27% said they favor Huntsman. Former Speaker of the House Greg Hughes trails behind, with 12% of Republicans saying they’d vote for him. — Sonja Hutson

Federal Relief Package May Help Utah Nonprofits

Under the coronavirus relief package signed by President Trump last week, Utah nonprofits with no more than 500 employees, can qualify for up to $10 million in loans. That’s according to an analysis by the National Council of Nonprofits. The loans can be used to cover things like payroll and debt service. And because creditworthiness requirements are waived eligible nonprofits could get relief checks within three days. The package also expands unemployment insurance for workers who are furloughed, as well as gig workers and freelancers. — Diane Maggipinto


University Of Utah Moves Summer Classes Online

The University of Utah announced Monday that all summer courses will be moved online. The university said that includes first and second session, semester-long courses, and all continuing education. The decision comes in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

All of Utah’s public colleges and universities have already canceled in person classes for the rest of spring semester and moved courses online. Utah’s technical colleges will also move to online instruction through the month of April. — Ross Terrell


Some National Parks In Utah Close, Others Stay Open

Arches and Canyonlands National Parks closed indefinitely on Saturday, following calls from local governments and public health departments to temporarily shut down the parks to visitors due to coronavirus concerns. The closures are intended to prevent tourists from bringing in the virus from other areas or injuring themselves while recreating and then seeking medical attention. The question of when the parks will reopen will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis. Read the full story. — David Fuchs, St. George

Sen. Romney Urges Small Businesses To Use Loan Programs

Sen. Mitt Romney has urged Utah’s small business owners to keep their doors open despite the growing number of COVID-19 cases. On a call Monday, organized by the San Juan Chamber of Commerce, Romney pointed out some resources to help them, like the Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and a Paycheck Protection Program. Romney told business owners to apply as soon as possible, since there is “not enough money to fund these programs.” — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff


Olympic Rock Climbing Team Tries To Stay Sharp

The U.S. rock climbing team trains in the Mountain West and it was set to make its debut in the Tokyo Olympics this summer. But now that the games have been postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team’s aspirations and hopes are on pause. Still, they are coaching over the phone and doing training workouts at home and with the hope they can keep up the momentum for another year. Read the full story.Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

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