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AM News Brief: Voter Registration Deadline, Nine Counties Shift To Green & Monticello Loses Police

Photo of primary ballot.
Elaine Clark / KUER
The voter registration deadline for Utah’s primary elections is Friday at 5 p.m. This and more in the Friday morning news brief/";

Friday morning, June 19, 2020

State

Primary Voter Registration Deadline Friday

The voter registration deadline for Utah’s primary elections is Friday at 5 p.m. The June 30 election will be held almost entirely by mail, with the exception of San Juan County. Seven counties will have drive-up locations and hand out mail-in ballots to registered voters that didn’t get one in the mail. There will be no in-person voter registration on Election Day. To vote in the Republican primary, you must be registered with the party. Voters are not allowed to participate in both the Republican and Democratic primaries. — Sonja Hutson

Nine Counties Shift To COVID “Green” Friday

Utah announced 495 new COVID cases Thursday, the second largest single day increase since the start of the pandemic. Health officials also reported three more deaths, raising the state total to 152. The new numbers came just a day after Utah’s epidemiologist Angela Dunn warned the risk of catching the disease has “never been higher.” Also, under a new executive order issued by the governor, nine rural counties will move to the green, “new normal” phase of COVID risk Friday 1 p.m. Those are Beaver, Daggett, Duchesne, Emery, Garfield, Millard, Piute, Uintah and Wayne Counties. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Notification Of Large Emergency Purchases

Utah’s governor would have to inform the Legislature of some major emergency purchases under a bill passed by the Utah Legislature Thursday. Within 24 hours, the governor would have to tell lawmakers about purchases of more than $2 million that use federal funds and are made through the no-bid emergency process. It only applies during a declared pandemic or epidemic emergency. Some lawmakers have called for investigations into no-bid contracts the state has entered into during the coronavirus pandemic. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Southern Utah

Monticello To Lose City Police Force

The city of Monticello will no longer have a police force come June 30. The city council voted to disband the police force earlier this month because the city has had problems filling positions long term. Monticello had budgeted around $335,000 for the force last year which Mayor Tim Young says is a huge expense for the city of 2,000 people. The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office will oversee public safety in the city. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Northern Utah

Population, Density And COVID-19

A new study from the University of Utah and Johns Hopkins shows a correlation between population size and mortality rates from COVID-19 — the larger a population, the higher the death rates. The study published in the Journal of the American Planning Association examined data from 913 counties. It also found that the size of a population is more important than population density when it comes to COVID mortality. Researchers hypothesized that in denser areas, there may be better adherence to social distancing and better health care. — Caroline Ballard

Mary Kaye Huntsman Positive For COVID

Former Utah first lady Mary Kaye Huntsman has tested positive for COVID-19, according to her Instagram post Thursday. She is married to Jon Huntsman Jr., who is vying for the governor's seat in Utah. He also tested positive and tweeted that he is fully recovered. He said other members of their family plan to get tested again. Several staffers from his campaign also have been infected. — Diane Maggipinto

Region/Nation

Mountain West COVID-19 Pockets

The Mountain West continues to experience local spikes in COVID-19. That includes upticks in areas including Boulder, Colorado, Boise, Idaho and Clark County, Nevada. Cases in the northeast and midwest are, in general, trending downward. But Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the nation has yet to exit the first wave of this pandemic. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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