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AM News Brief: School Outbreak Closures, Library Tutoring & Peregrines Fly — Climbers Climb

Photo of a rock climbing in the Utah desert.
Louis Arevalo
Courtesy BLM
All walls in the Indian Creek Climbing Area are now open, following the success of voluntary closures this spring. This story and more in the Wednesday morning news brief.

Wednesday morning, September 2, 2020

Northern Utah

Salt Lake City’s Winter COVID Plans
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced plans Tuesday afternoon to address the COVID-19 pandemic this winter. Combating homelessness is a key pillar, along with health, education and economic stability for Salt Lake City residents. Mendenhall said the first part of the plan includes cleaning up encampments and then connecting unsheltered people with drug treatment and other community services. The cleanup portion of the city’s plan could happen immediately but would require more funding to continue past November. She said she’s also hoping to set up an emergency shelter like the city did last winter. Read the full story. Read the full story.Emily Means

School Outbreak Closures
The charter school American Preparatory Academy in Draper closed a campus Tuesday after 15 students and staff tested positive for COVID-19. The school is spread over seven locations in Draper and West Valley City, serving students in preschool through 12th grade. It is unknown which Draper school has shifted to online learning because of the coronavirus outbreak. Pleasant Grove High School in Utah County closed Tuesday and will reopen Thursday under a hybrid model, following a cluster of coronavirus cases there. — Associated Press

County Library Offers Tutoring
The Salt Lake County Library is offering live online tutoring and real-time peer-to-peer virtual study rooms for kids who are learning at home and in hybrid settings. The free services are available for students of all ages, including toddlers preparing for kindergarten. County Library Director Jim Cooper acknowledged the stress on parents doing double-duty as they work from home and monitor their children's learning. County Mayor Jenny Wilson said they are working on more ways to help educators, students and families navigate the school year during the pandemic. Residents need a county library card in order to take advantage of the resources. — Roddy Nikpour

How Invasive Is Sewage Testing?
Utah State University announced Sunday that it had found elevated levels of the novel coronavirus in wastewater in four of its residence halls. Some members of the campus community have now said that wastewater testing is an invasion of privacy. Amanda DeRito, USU’s director of crisis communication, told Utah Public Radio that testing sewage is less invasive than nasal swab testing. She also said it’s helping the university identify trends in the community and target testing where it’s needed most. Dorm occupancy is down 10%, and the university has set aside rooms where students can quarantine if needed. — Kailey Foster, Utah Public Radio

Drowning Death At Strawberry
A man drowned Tuesday on Strawberry Reservoir when his boat capsized. The Wasatch County Sheriff's Office says the 911 call that came in just before noon indicated there were five people aboard the craft. All but one, a 69 year old, swam to shore. He developed breathing problems at some point and first responders were unable to revive him. The man has not yet been identified. — Diane Maggipinto

Southern Utah

Peregrines Fly, Climbers Climb
All walls in the Indian Creek Climbing Area are now open, following the success of voluntary closures this spring. The Bureau of Land Management asked climbers and hikers in February to avoid the popular climbing spot in southeast Utah since peregrine falcons nest there in the spring. The Bureau announced this week that the area is now clear of nests. It also said two pairs of peregrines successfully reared babies during the closures this spring. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff


Poll Worker Shortage
Finding poll workers is usually a challenge, but it’s even harder this year. That’s because many previous poll workers were older retirees, and they’re afraid of getting COVID-19. So, some election officials are turning to the younger generation, talking to high schools and working with national organizations like Work Elections and Power to the Polls. To register to work polls, which is a paying job, either call your county elections office or go to Power the Polls. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau

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