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AM News Brief: Blood Donation Rules, Emotional Relief Hotline & Flag Lowered For Robert Garff

Photo of blood donation.
U.S. Deparment of Defense
State officials from around the country, including four in the Mountain West, have signed a letter to the Food and Drug Administration. This and more in the Friday morning news brief.

Friday morning, April 10, 2020

State

Emotional Relief Hotline

A free emotional relief hotline for people struggling during the coronavirus pandemic is now available through Intermountain Healthcare. The hotline launched Thursday and offers referrals, treatment options, and other resources to callers. Trained personnel from Intermountain’s COVID-19 call center will answer calls at 883-442-2211. The hotline is open to all from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. — Grace Osusky

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Northern Utah

Utah Honors Robert Garff

Flags at the Utah state capitol were at half-staff Friday to honor Robert Garff, who is being laid to rest. The prominent businessman and politician died nearly two weeks ago from COVID-19 complications. The 78-year-old served as Speaker of the Utah House for two years in the 80s and served on Salt Lake’s Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics. — Jessica Lowell

Southern Utah

Grassroots Relief For Restaurant Workers

Restaurants were one of the first parts of Utah’s economy to be disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. But one cafe in Southwest Utah has now become a place of support for displaced workers. Read the full story. — David Fuchs, St. George

Capitol Reef Closure

Capitol Reef National Park is now closed to the public. After taking partial steps to protect people and staff from the coronavirus, park superintendent Susan Fritzke closed all recreation land to camping, hiking, backpacking and canyoneering. Pass-through traffic only is allowed on State Route 24, the Cathedral Valley Road, Hartnet Road, Notom-Bullfrog Road and the Burr Trail. Earlier this week, rangers barricaded access to the park's Scenic Drive and Fruita Campground. — Diane Maggipinto

Region

Challenging Blood Donation Rules

State officials from around the country, including four in the Mountain West, have signed a letter to the Food and Drug Administration. They’re asking the agency to change its limits on accepting blood donations from certain people based on their sexual partners. Namely, men who have sex with men and women who’ve had sex with men who have, in turn, had sex with other men. Lieutenant governors from Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Montana signed the letter. — Rae Ellen Bichell, Mountain West News Bureau

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