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PM News Brief: Gunlock Waterfall, Republican Primary Lawsuits & Provo Reopening

Photo of a sign that reads "historic downtown provo"
Wikimedia Commons
Provo city officials are urging their residents to "proceed with caution" as some parts of the economy reopen.

Monday evening, May 4, 2020

STATE

Travel Association Releases Guidelines

As Utah and several other states begin to reopen sections of their economies, the U.S. Travel Association released guidelines Monday for how to safely bring the nation’s tourism industry back to life. They’re based on recommendations from the CDC and similar to those issued by other industries — including steps like cleaning more frequently, screening employees and limiting customer and staff interactions. Industry officials are hopeful the guidelines will help reduce fears travelers may have about contracting the coronavirus. Read the full story.Jon Reed

COVID-19 Update

Utah has now had more than 5,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The state has remained around a 4% positive rate for new cases and nearly 125,000 people have been tested. In a press briefing Monday, Utah’s Epidemiologist Angela Dunn said it’ll be a week or two before the state sees if reopening parts of its economy last weekend will lead to a spike in cases. Dunn urged people to continue following social distancing guidelines. So far, some 2,300 people have recovered from the virus. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Garbett And Burningham Lawsuits Tossed

Two Utah Republican gubernatorial candidates have lost federal lawsuits to qualify for the state’s June primary ballot. Utah requires 28,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot. Both Jan Garbett and Jeff Burningham argued that social distancing orders infringed on their ability to gather enough. A federal judge lowered the signature requirement for Garbett last week and then denied her appeal asking for more leniency. Burningham's lawsuit was thrown out after its first hearing. — Sonja Hutson

Judges Can Expand Remote Hearings

Utah state courts can now hold more virtual hearings. An order released earlier this month by the state’s Supreme Court allows bench trials and oral arguments to happen remotely via telephone or video conferencing. Judges will also form a working group to discuss how to potentially resume jury trials, among other things. In coordination with the courts’ Pandemic Response Plan, anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or was exposed to someone with the disease will not be allowed to enter a courthouse. — Ross Terrell

NORTHERN UTAH

Provo To Proceed With Caution

Provo city officials are urging their residents to “proceed with caution” as some parts of the economy reopen. The city is located in Utah County, and there have been 1,122 COVID-19 cases as of Monday, which is about one fifth of the state’s cases. Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi, announced guidelines for residents and businesses in the city. Kaufusi also announced that most park and recreation facilities and city customer service desks are open. — Jessica Lowell

Single Adults Living Alone

Nearly 20% of adults in Salt Lake City live alone. That’s according to a new study released Monday by Self Financial, an online blog which used data from the American Community Survey. The study said adults who live alone face more challenges financially and psychology during the coronavirus pandemic. Statewide only 9% of adults are living alone. The study also looked at West Valley City, Provo, and West Jordan, where fewer than 7% of adults are single dwellers. — Ross Terrell

SOUTHERN UTAH

Gunlock Waterfall Accident

A Las Vegas woman suffered injuries over the weekend after jumping off the man-made waterfalls at Gunlock State Park in Washington County. Five park visitors were injured and one died in similar accidents last year. Southwest Utah state parks have struggled with overcrowding since Gov. Gary Herbert re-opened many of them in mid-April. Park officials have asked people to check social media for updates before visiting and be mindful of social distancing while there. — David Fuchs, St. George

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