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AM News Brief: Colorado River Study, Weekend COVID-19 Update & Energy's Impact On Hunting

Photo of Lake Powell.
Linde Cater
National Park Service
A new report confirms what scientists have known for years: the Colorado River is struggling in a warming climate. This story and more in the Monday morning news brief.

Monday morning, April 27, 2020


More Than 4,000 COVID-19 Cases

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Utah rose to 4,123 over the weekend. And so far, nearly 96,000 people have been tested. The state Department of Health also reported 350 additional cases of the disease. Sunday marked the first time in 10 days that no deaths were reported. Still, the state has had 41 total COVID-19 related deaths. As of this weekend, the state estimates that more than 1,500 people have recovered. — David Fuchs

License Scrutiny For Pharmacy At Center Of Utah Hydroxychloroquine Deal

Gov. Gary Herbert’s legal team is reviewing whether the compounding pharmacy from which the state of Utah purchased a controversial anti-malaria drug to treat COVID-19 had state and federal approval to mass produce the medication, the governor’s office said Friday. That’s one of several lines of questioning into the cost and transparency of the state’s $800,000 deal to buy enough hydroxychloroquine to treat 20,000 patients, aspokesman for the governor’s COVID-19 Community Task Force said. Read the full story. — Andrew Becker

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Northern Utah

Human Remains Discovered In City Creek Canyon

Police are investigating decayed human remains found in a canyon near Salt Lake City. KUTV reports they were found by a hiker up City Creek Canyon Saturday night in a severe state of decay. Salt Lake City Police Lt. Brett Olsen said police have little information about who the person was or how they died. Forensic investigators from the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner will look into what might have caused the death. Remains were also found at Memory Grove Park in the same canyon last year. — Associated Press


Study Shows Colorado River Struggling

A new report confirms what scientists have known for years: the Colorado River is struggling in a warming climate. The river supplies drinking and irrigation water for seven U.S. states across the western U.S, including Utah. University of Colorado researcher Jeff Lukas says water supplies will be limited in the future, and he hopes water managers are able to adapt. Water officials throughout the southwest are gearing up to negotiate a new set of guidelines for the river’s management. Those talks are set to begin at the end of this year. — Luke Runyon, KUNC

Navajo Nation COVID-19 Cases

On the Navajo Nation, increased testing for the coronavirus revealed a higher number of positive cases of COVID-19. On Friday, the Navajo Health Department reported 180 new cases and a combined total of 176 for Saturday and Sunday. 21 of those positives are in San Juan County, Utah. Leaders also announced six deaths on Friday and one Saturday. Navajo Nation president Jonathan Nez says Dine citizens should expect the higher numbers as testing sites are set up. Mass testing is happening once or twice weekly across the vast area, and Nez says about 1,500 were administered in Monument Valley through the Utah Navajo Health Services. — Diane Maggipinto

Impact Of Oil And Gas Leases On Hunting

A recent National Wildlife Federation study says new oil and gas leases could harm existing hunting economies. Areas opening up for lease sales include prime hunting and fishing territory, like around Uncompahgre in Colorado or Rock Springs in Wyoming. The oil industry isn’t doing well at the moment and likely won’t be producing in that area for a while, but the advocacy group said oil will come back. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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