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AM News Brief: Plane Crash Victims Identified, Utah's Case Numbers & Study On COVID At Protests

 The city of St. George, seen from above. A grid of rooftops, treetops stretch out towards red cliffs in the distance.
David Fuchs
More than 90 inmates at Washington County’s jail have tested positive for COVID-19. This story and more in the Monday morning news brief.";

Monday morning, July 6, 2020


More Than 1,000 COVID Cases Reported Over Weekend

The state health department reported more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19 in Utah over the weekend. Saturday’s number tied the single-highest daily count of 676. On Sunday, another were 410 cases reported, but many testing centers were closed Saturday for the Fourth of July holiday. The state also reported the deaths of three men in Salt Lake, Utah and Washington Counties. That brings the state’s death total to 184 and the average age of people who have died is 73 years old. — Elaine Clark

At-home COVID Tests Have Risks And Benefits

The Food and Drug Administration has approved an Emergency Use Authorization for an at-home COVID-19 test from Kroger Health, a division of the same company that owns Smith’s Food and Drug in Utah. The test will be available to Utah companies and organizations by the end of July. Todd Vento, an infectious disease doctor at Intermountain Healthcare, said because patients can do everything from their house, it limits the possibility of community spread. But he said there are some risks involved with this method of testing, like a higher false negative risk. Read the full story. — Jessica Lowell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Northern Utah

Plane Crash Victims Identified

Four people died in a small plane crash near Box Elder Peak on Friday morning. The Utah County Sheriff's Office said 35-year-old Tyson Brummett of Salt Lake City, a former Major League baseball pitcher, was piloting the craft when it spiraled downward before impact. The passengers were identified as 35-year-old Alex Blackhurst Ruegner of Riverton, and his aunt and uncle 60-year-old Elaine Blackhurst and her husband 62-year-old Douglas Blackhurst, also of Riverton. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating. — Diane Maggipinto

Air Force Pilot Laid To Rest

Air Force 1st Lt. Kenneth Allen was buried on Saturday after a public ceremony at Box Elder High School. The military pilot died when his jet crashed off the coast of England in June. The 27-year-old was flying a F-15C Eagle fighter aircraft as part of the 493rd Fighter Squadron when it crashed in the North Sea. The cause of the accident is under investigation. — Associated Press

Southern Utah

Families Protest Washington County Jail Health Conditions

More than 90 inmates at Washington County’s jail have tested positive for COVID-19. Concerned family members held a candlelight vigil outside Purgatory Correctional Facility Friday night. People at the vigil said jail administrators didn’t take proper precautions before the outbreak. Some said their family members weren’t given masks until the virus had already begun spreading and that inmates haven’t had access to soap or hand sanitizer. Jail Deputy Chief Jake Schultz watched the event from a distance saying there is cause for concern, but that the high number of cases comes from expanded testing. Read the full story. — Lexi Peery


Protests Haven’t Led To COVID Outbreaks

A new study explores why recent protests don't seem to have led to spikes in new coronavirus cases. A research team studied COVID-19 case counts and cell phone data tracking people's movements. They looked at roughly 300 cities, most of which saw protests but didn't see a big rise in cases. University of Colorado Denver professor Andrew Friedson said the protests brought a lot of people out, but the number of people who stayed home offset that. The working paper was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. It hasn't yet been peer reviewed. — John Daley, Colorado Public Radio

Seven COVID Deaths Reported On Navajo Nation

On the Navajo Nation, a total 173 cases of COVID-19 were reported for Friday through Sunday, with 7 deaths. Just more than three dozen positives were tallied Sunday, 71 on Saturday and 64 Friday. — Diane Maggipinto

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