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AM News Brief: Masks, Red Flag Warning & The Airport Master Plan

Photo of SLC Airport draft plan mailer.
Elaine Clark / KUER
The Salt Lake City International Airport will hold a virtual public information meeting about updating its master plan next week. This story and more in the Friday morning news brief.

Friday morning, July 3 2020

State

Salt Lake Chamber Wants Masks Mandate 

The Salt Lake Chamber and more than 125 signees are asking state leaders for a statewide order on face masks that would require the public to use face coverings when social distancing isn't feasible. A letter from business owners and religious and non-profit leaders calls on the state to update health guidelines and assist them in balancing safety and the economy, saying “public health and economic health are inseparably connected, not competing alternatives.” The letter also requests that the Office of Economic Development use money earmarked by the legislature for a consumer confidence campaign about best practices for personal health and safety. The signatories said they'd rather “comply with the requirement to wear face masks ... than to have to close our doors.” — Diane Maggipinto

COVID Holiday Warning

Utah’s epidemiologist tweeted a warning Thursday saying the state saw a surge in new COVID cases after Memorial Day weekend — and that hospitals can’t handle another one. Cases have spiked around the state, which has now had more than 23,000 cases of the virus. The Department of Health reported three deaths on Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 176. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Holiday Hours

Because Independence Day falls on a Saturday, Friday is the observed state and federal holiday — government offices and banks are closed. There is mail delivery Friday, but carriers will have the day off on Saturday. In Utah, state liquor stores are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, and will be closed Saturday. — Diane Maggipinto

Southern Utah

Moab Mask Order Goes Into Effect Tuesday

The Governor’s office has given Grand County permission to require face coverings inside businesses. The county council voted in favor of the move earlier this week. But the order will not go into effect until Tuesday as they still have to decide on the enforcement component. Council Chair Mary McGann, who voted in favor of the measure, said the council will likely model the order on Salt Lake County’s policy, which emphasizes voluntary compliance but can still be enforced as a misdemeanor. The town of Springdale will also implement a mask policy next week. — Kate Groetzinger

Red Flag Warnings

The bottom half of Utah is under red flag warnings Friday. The National Weather Service in Salt Lake City said a threat of thunderstorms and gusty and erratic winds are part of the forecast for much of southern Utah. The warning applies to Tavaputs Plateau, the San Rafael Swell, the Central Utah West Desert and Mountains, the Grand Staircase, Mojave Desert, Henry Mountains and Color Country. The agency also asked the public to follow fire restrictions and fireworks rules because of the high threat of fire starting from sparks. — Diane Maggipinto

Northern Utah

Salt Lake International Master Plan

The Salt Lake City International Airport will hold a virtual public information meeting about updating its master plan next week. Airport officials said they are evaluating facility needs and looking toward the next 20 years of development and want input from the public. Currently the airport is undergoing major renovations, the first phase of which is scheduled to be unveiled in September. All construction on the new terminals and concourses is expected to finish in 2024. — Caroline Ballard

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