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PM News Brief: Tour of Utah Canceled, Call For Stay-At-Home Order & Hydroxychloroquine Use

Photo of a person riding a bike
The Tour of Utah bike race, originally scheduled for Aug. 3-9, has been canceled due to the coronavirus.

Monday evening, April 6, 2020


Five More COVID-19 Deaths

Five more COVID-19 related deaths in Utah were announced Monday, bringing the total number of deaths to 13. Four of the people who died were living in long term care facilities in Salt Lake City and Utah County. Utah has now seen 1,675 confirmed cases but more than 33,300 people have been tested so far. People ages 25 to 44 still make up the highest percentage of cases. — Jessica Lowell

Health Department Won’t Interfere With Hydroxychloroquine Use

Utah’s epidemiologist Angela Dunn said the decision to treat COVID-19 patients with a drug commonly used to fight malaria can be made at the discretion of health care providers. President Trump has touted the controversial drug as a possible treatment against the coronavirus despite limited research showing whether the drug is effective. Despite reports of a national shortage, Dunn said the state has made no effort to “control any access” to it.— Jessica Lowell

House Democrats Want Stay-At-Home Order

Utah House Democrats are once again urging Gov. Gary Herbert to issue a mandatory statewide stay-at-home order. In a release Monday, they said current voluntary recommendations to “Stay Safe, Stay Home” are not as effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Instead, Dems said a mandatory order would save lives and also help the state recover more quickly economically. Utah is one of nine states nationwide without such measures in place, though some communities have instituted their own stay-at-home orders. — Caroline Ballard

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Utahns Are Worried About Coronavirus

About two-thirds of Utahns reported feeling very or somewhat worried that a family member will get COVID-19. That’s according to a new pollby Utah Policy and Y2 Analytics conducted during the last week of March which asked people about their fears around the pandemic and how they’ve changed their habits. Sixty-two percent of respondents reported they are now working from home and most people said they have limited social interactions.— Caroline Ballard


Overflow Hospital Beds Unveiled At Expo Center

State officials unveiled one of Utah’s major contingency plans Monday in the fight against COVID-19 — 260 makeshift hospital beds that could be used if state hospitals are overrun. The beds are set up at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy and would initially be used to treat non-coronavirus cases. The Division of Emergency Management said hospitals are managing space well right now, so the additional beds aren’t needed yet. But because so much about the virus is unknown, emergency plans like this are essential. Read KUER’s full story.Jon Reed

Tour Of Utah Canceled Due To Coronavirus

The Tour of Utah bike race has been canceled due to the coronavirus. The multi-day men’s professional stage race was originally scheduled for Aug. 3-9. With the race still four months away, it’s one of the earliest cancellations for a sporting event. The Tour of Utah takes place in nine different communities around the northern part of the state and planned to host 17 teams this year.— Caroline Ballard

Utah County Attorney Tests Positive For COVID-19

Utah County Attorney David Leavitt has tested positive for COVID-19. The Daily Herald reported Leavitt was tested last week after experiencing symptoms associated with the virus. County spokeswoman Sherrie Hall Everett said the attorney received his results Friday from the Intermountain Healthcare's InstaCare clinic in Springville. Leavitt said he is struggling to regain his health at his home. He and other employees at his office in Provo had been working at home for about two weeks when he received his diagnosis. Leavitt is running for Utah attorney general and plans to continue campaigning. — Associated Press

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