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PM News Brief: Real Monarch Soccer Games, Small Business PPE & More Protest Charges

Photo of medical gloves and a mask
Yevhenii Orlov via iStock
Utah businesses can now apply for grant money to buy personal protective equipment, through the "Safe In Utah" program run by the Governor's Office of Economic Development.

Monday evening, July 20, 2020


Overwhelming Majority Of Fires In Utah Started By Humans

Utah is ranked third in the country in the number of acres burned in 2020 due to wildfires, according to stats recently released by the National Interagency Fire Center. And over 80% of the fires in Utah this year have been human caused. Some of the main culprits being vehicles, target shooting and fireworks. This year is historic compared to the last 10 where around 60% of fires were started by people, according to Utah Fire spokesperson Kait Webb. Fire restrictions will be lifted Wednesday in parts of the state for Pioneer Day, but Webb says people still need to be cautious. Read the full story. — Lexi Peery, St. George

More Than 40% Of COVID Deaths In Long-term Care Facilities

Utah health officials reported another 409 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Monday along with four more deaths. All four men were either hospitalized or in a long-term care facility at the time of their death. In fact, more than 40% of deaths have occurred in long-term care locations. Since the start of the pandemic, 247 people have died from complications due to the disease. So far, more than 469,000 people have been tested. — Ross Terrell

Applications Open For Small Business PPE Grants

Utah businesses can now apply for grant money to buy personal protective equipment, redesign workplaces and create solutions for social distancing. The “Safe In Utah” program is run by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and makes $5 million of federal CARES Act funding available. Businesses can apply for up to $100 per full time employee, or the actual cost of implementation. The grants are available to companies with fewer than 250 full-time employees. — Caroline Ballard

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.


Real Monarchs Hold Second Game With Fans In Attendance

The Real Monarchs, members of the United Soccer League, have now hosted two games with fans in attendance since the season resumed earlier this month. And so far, there have been no COVID-19 cases connected to the events, according to Craig Martin, the vice president of facility operations for the Real Salt Lake Soccer Club. Martin said even though attendance dropped from 816 fans in the crowd to 505 fans from the first game to the second, he doesn’t think it’s because of anything the facility is doing. Martin said they are collecting everyone’s name to contact trace and are asking people to exit the game in two sections instead of all at once. — Jessica Lowell

More Charges From May 30 Protests In Salt Lake City

Three more people were charged Monday for their role in protests in Salt Lake City at the end of May. Miles Henry faces a third-degree felony for rioting and is the latest to face legal repercussions for helping destroy a police car that was flipped and set on fire. The other two people who were charged are tied to damaging a TRAX platform and spray painting the Capitol. Thousands of people took to downtown Salt Lake City May 30 to protest against police brutality and racial injustice following the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Bernardo Palacios-Carabajal in Salt Lake. — Ross Terrell

Referendum For Provo Brewpub Fails To Get Enough Signatures

A citizen referendum challenging the creation of a license for brewpubs in Provo has failed to get enough signatures to make it on the ballot in November. The Daily Herald reports organizers were stymied by the coronavirus pandemic and came up short by less than 200 signatures. Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi said allowing brewpubs has been a controversial issue in the community and the city must respect the results of the signature count. If the referendum had succeeded, voters would have been considering the creation of a Class F beer license, which allows people to open a brewpub in any of three specific zones in the city. — Associated Press


Mountain West Region Experiencing COVID Testing Delays

COVID-19 cases are still surging around the region, and the wait times for getting test results are getting longer for many. States like Montana are seeing some wait times of up to two weeks. And experts said that just isn’t fast enough. Many blame backlogs at private labs and national companies, which are seeing a surge in tests. And while most states in the Mountain West are seeing four-day turnarounds or better, experts say the ideal is to have results within a day. Utah’s average time for returning COVID-19 test results has held steady at around three days. But state officials are aiming to return results in 24 to 48 hours. Over the last month, the state has been testing between 6,200 and 7,200 people a day. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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