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PM News Brief: 40,000 COVID Cases, The U Football Schedule & Bears Ears National Monument

Photo of Bears Ears Buttes.
KUER File Photo
The tribes suing the Trump administration over its reduction of the Bears Ears National Monument are arguing that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision bolsters their case.

Friday evening, July 31, 2020


How Shelters Are Working To Keep People Cool From Triple Digit Temperatures

The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings and advisories for most of Utah — as triple digits temperatures are expected through the weekend. Normally when there’s a heat wave space and resources to help cool people off are strained, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it worse. Some public places and resources are limited because of the pandemic, making it difficult for some shelters to accommodate everyone seeking help. Read the full story. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Utah Surpasses 40,000 COVID Cases

Utah has now had more than 40,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Health officials announced another 500 cases Friday. The state reached Gov. Gary Herbert’s goal of less than 500 average daily cases by Aug. 1. For the past week, Utah has been averaging 457 new cases a day. Officials also reported four more people have died, bringing the state’s total to 304. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.


Remembering Women Of Color Killed By Police

A demonstration planned for Friday evening aimed to remember women of color who have been killed by police, but also teach people how to hold politicians accountable. Michele Rivera with the Salt Lake County Black Democratic Caucus said rallies and marches bring attention to issues like racial justice, but for change to happen "more people [need] to be involved in politics.” The event was held at Washington Square Park in Salt Lake City, where state and local elected officials discussed ways to be part of the political process. — Emily Means

The U Releases Updated 2020 Football Schedule

The University of Utah released its updated football schedule Friday. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the season is now scheduled to start Sept. 26, about three weeks later than originally planned. And the Utes will only play 10 games instead of 12. The team’s first home game isn’t until Oct. 10. University athletics officials said they are still working on details about how many fans will be allowed inside the stadium and how tickets will be distributed. — Ross Terrell

Have Latinos Been Receiving The Right Information About COVID?

A professor at the University of Utah is launching a study to see if Spanish speakers are getting the right information about the coronavirus. Infection data since April has shown that Latinos have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Leaders in the community have attributed that in part to early recommendations only being available in English. The study will survey Spanish speakers on where they are getting information about the virus and how well they trust it. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that surveys are getting sent out in the mail and handed out at mobile testing sites. — Jon Reed


Tribes Leaning On Recent SCOTUS Ruling In Bears Ears Case

The tribes suing the Trump administration over its reduction of the Bears Ears National Monument are arguing that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision bolsters their case. Matthew Campbell, a lawyer with the Native American Rights fund who is representing three tribes, said that Trump is arguing his actions were legal based on the fact that presidents have altered monuments in the past. But the Supreme Court decision said that performing unlawful acts repeatedly is not enough to amend the law. Campbell said he expects the federal judge handling the Bears Ears case to call for an oral argument in the near future. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

Census Deadline Pushed Back, Could Lead To Under Count

The U.S. Census Bureau will cut door-knocking efforts short by a month, according to NPR. And officials said that could lead to a massive undercount. Utah’s overall response rate right now is 67%, 1% below the state’s rate in 2010. But in rural and tribal communities where internet access is scarce, responses remain low. Rich County has the lowest rate in Utah, with just 12.5% of households taking the Census so far. The Navajo Nation is at 13%. The Census count was extended to the end of October because of the pandemic, but will now end in September. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff


Could Poor Ventilation Affect Covid Transmission In Schools?

Colorado’s governor said it’s “reasonably safe” to reopen schools this fall. But there are concerns that COVID-19 could spread more easily in poorly ventilated schools. Dr. Jonathan Samet, dean of the Colorado School of Public Health, said poor ventilation in schools could lead to a higher concentration of floating particles but that masks and social distancing will also help stop the virus from spreading. But he added that opening windows may not be an option on cold winter days. And of course this assumes that all schools have windows that will open. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

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