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PM News Brief: Jan Garbett Lawsuit, Patriot Pay & Bryce Canyon

A photo of hoodoos and banded, multi-color canyon walls in Bryce Canyon National Park.
Courtesy of Bryce Canyon National Park.
Bryce Canyon National Park will begin reopening in phases starting Wednesday, officials announced Thursday.

Friday evening, May 1, 2020

STATE

May 1 COVID-19 Update

Utah has now had more than 4,800 confirmed cases of COVID-19. That’s according to numbers released Friday by the Department of Health. Health officials say they are preparing to protect high risk individuals with mobile testing and “strike teams.” Officials have already deployed a team to a residential facility in Utah County to provide nursing level care and personal protective gear. So far, the state has tested more than 112,000 people and officials estimate over 2,000 people have recovered. — Jessica Lowell

Romney Proposes Patriot Pay

U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney has proposed giving essential and frontline workers a temporary bonus. To be eligible, workers must make under $90,000 a year. Under the proposed program, dubbed Patriot Pay, people could receive an additional $12 an hour. Employers would receive a tax credit and be responsible for paying 25% of the raise, while the federal government would pay the rest. If approved by Congress, Patriot Pay would run through July 31. — Grace Osusky

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Jan Garbett Appeals Federal Court Decision

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jan Garbett is appealing a recent court ruling that reduced the number of signatures she needs to get on June’s primary ballot. Garbett argued earlier this week she should be able to collect fewer than the 28,000 required signatures due to the coronavirus pandemic. A federal court agreed and required her to submit and verify just 70% of that amount, which would be about 19,000. But in her appeal filed Friday, she said that burden is still too high, citing other states that have much lower requirements. — Emily Means

SOUTHERN UTAH

WiFi Hotspots On Navajo Nation

Hundreds of students on the Navajo Nation in Utah received hotspots and Chromebooks from the San Juan School District in April to help them complete assignments during the COVID-19 pandemic. But they’re not working as well as some teachers had hoped, due to daily data limits that make it hard for students to finish work or download videos. Read the full story.Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

Parts Of Bryce Canyon Reopening

Officials at Bryce Canyon National Park announced Thursday it will begin to reopen in phases next week. Starting on Wednesday, all viewpoints along the main park road up through Rainbow Point will be open to the public. But the visitor center, campgrounds, backcountry trails and most restrooms will still be closed. — David Fuchs, St. George

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