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News Briefs

PM News Brief: 100,000 Utahns Tested, Tabernacle Choir & NFL Draft

Photo of Angela Dunn speaking behind a podium
Steve Griffin, pool photographer
/
Dr. Angela Dunn, state epidemiologist with the Utah Department of Health, speaks during the daily COVID-19 briefing at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, April 24, 2020.

Monday evening, April 27, 2020

STATE

More Than 100,000 Tested For COVID-19

Utah has now tested more than 100,000 people for COVID-19, according to new numbers released Monday by the state Department of Health. Utah’s epidemiologist said health officials will also increase their contact tracing efforts, which is tracking who may have been exposed to a person diagnosed with COVID-19. The state will now look for people who were in contact with a patient up to a week before their symptoms started. There have also been more than 4,200 cases in Utah. And the department estimates over 1,600 people have recovered. — Jessica Lowell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

NORTHERN UTAH

Gail Miller Resource Centers Has First COVID Cases

Salt Lake County confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 at the Gail Miller Resource Center last week. The patient is a male and is recovering in isolation. The report from the mixed-gender homeless shelter came a week after the county confirmed 94 men tested positive for the virus at a resource center in South Salt Lake. The county tested 75 men from the Gail Miller facility who were deemed most at risk of exposure and are still waiting for results but those 75 are voluntarily quarantining. For now, the facility isn’t accepting more men, and every client will have their symptoms checked twice a day. — Emily Means

SOUTHERN UTAH

Washington County Plans To Reopen

The next phase of Washington County’s pandemic response will roll out soon, county officials announced on Monday at a joint press conference held by the county commission and Southwest Utah Public Health Department. Though specific details will be released later this week, county officials indicated that nonessential businesses gain the option to reopen with precautions on May 1. The governor made a similar announcement on Friday. Read the full story. — David Fuchs

REGION

NFL Draft And Mountain West Players

NFL teams drafted more than a dozen football players from universities in our region over the weekend. Jordan Love from Utah State University was drafted by the Green Bay Packers and seven players from the University of Utah were drafted between the second and sixth rounds. The new players were welcomed into the league by the draft’s largest viewership ever. It could be a while until we see another event like it, though, with next year’s football schedules still up in the air. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West New Bureau

Could Genetics Impact COVID Response?

A recent study in the peer-reviewed Journal of Virology suggests that genetics might play a role in how well we fight off the coronavirus. It focused on genetic variations called HLA molecules that are essentially an alarm system. Here’s how it works with COVID–19: When the virus first takes over the cell HLA molecules will help grab pieces of that virus and push them out of the cell, where the body will see it as a problem. The author of the study said we don’t know yet which HLA types make us more susceptible to the virus. There just isn’t enough data yet. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West New Bureau

You can submit your own questions about COVID-19 here.

NATION

Push For Shorter Suicide Hotline Number

Congressman Chris Stewart is pushing to get his National Suicide Hotline legislation included in the next COVID-19 relief package. Last August, Stewart introduced an act that would adopt 988 as the universal calling code that would direct people to a national suicide prevention and mental health hotline. Currently, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 10 digits long. In a release, he said the pandemic created a period of isolation and uncertainty, and that passing the bill would make it easier for Americans to access mental health resources. — Caroline Ballard

WORLD

Tabernacle Choir Postpones Summer Tour

The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra has postponed its summer tour to Europe because of COVID-19. The three week trip would have taken the choir to Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Wales and Scotland. It’s been rescheduled for summer 2021. A release from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said the choir will perform at the same sites next year, but new dates have yet to be announced. — Caroline Ballard

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