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AM News Brief: COVID-19 Spike Continues, Corner Canyon High Online & State Lawmaker's Damages Due

Photo of Corner Canyon High School.
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah, is going online for two weeks after a coronavirus outbreak spread to 70 people and put a teacher in the hospital. That story and more in this morning's news letter.

Monday morning, September 21, 2020


Utah Marks Four Days Of 900+ COVID Cases

Utah’s coronavirus cases continued to spike over the weekend, though dipped slightly from the record of single-day increases set Friday. The state reported nearly 2,000 more cases Saturday and Sunday bringing Utah’s average daily cases for the past week to 835. Sunday marked day four of 900+ new cases. Utah County is seeing the sharpest spike, with the highest 7-day average in the state. It now has the second most cases per capita, behind San Juan County — though new cases in the Southeast portion of the state have leveled off. — Jon Reed

Corner Canyon High School Outbreak

Corner Canyon High School in Draper is going online for two weeks after a coronavirus outbreak spread to 70 people and put a teacher in the hospital. Canyons School District Board members made the decision at an emergency meeting Friday, revising an earlier decision to move the school to a hybrid schedule. The board also set a new policy for high schools and will close them only if the positivity rate reaches 2% — one percentage point higher than the state recommends. Two other high schools in the district — Alta and Brighton — have also reported positive cases, though they're only affecting about 0.6% of the population so far. The district said most cases seem to be coming from community spread rather than exposure at a school. — Jon Reed

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Salt Lake Native, Inventor Of Gore-Tex, Dies At 83

The Salt Lake City native who invented Gore-Tex fabric has died at 83. Robert W. Gore passed away late last week at a family home in Maryland following a prolonged illness. Gore was born in Salt Lake in 1937 and was schooled here through seventh grade, when his family moved to Delaware. Gore's 1969 discovery revolutionized outdoor wear and helped spawn uses in numerous other fields, including space travel. The membrane within Gore-Tex fabric has billions of pores that are smaller than water droplets, leading to waterproof but breathable raincoats, shoes and other clothing. — Associated Press / Diane Maggipinto

Southern Utah

Utah State Representative Has One Month To Pay Damages

Utah state Rep. Phil Lyman (R-Blanding) now has until mid-October to pay damages in a five-year-old federal court case. The San Juan County Republican was found guilty in 2015 of leading an illegal ATV protest ride through Recapture Canyon the previous year. Lyman was ordered to pay almost $96,000 dollars in damages, at $100 a month. But Lyman hasn't turned in his tax documents, which the court requested to determine if he should pay more per month. Lyman's attorney asked U.S. District Judge David Nuffer on Friday that Lyman be allowed to pay the debt in exchange for keeping tax documents private. Nuffer agreed, and Lyman has until Oct. 16 to pay the full amount. If that doesn’t happen, Nuffer said Lyman must file an explanation about why prosecutors can’t look at his tax records. — Associated Press / Diane Maggipinto

Firewood Delivery

Truckers from around the state took 10 semis loaded with trees from Salt Lake City to Blanding on Saturday in an effort dubbed “Operation Firewood Rescue.” Following the windstorm that toppled some 2,000 trees in Salt Lake earlier this month, the Urban Indian Center collected donations of firewood to help Navajo elders. Many of them rely on wood burning for heating and cooking. Savage Services, a transportation company based in Midvale, organized the volunteer delivery effort. Utah Navajo Health Systems in Blanding will distribute the firewood. — Elaine Clark


Wildfire Smoke Health Effects

A research effort to see how long it takes people to recover from living with hazardous levels of prolonged wildfire smoke still hasn't determined the answer. Some residents of the western Montana town of Seeley Lake who stayed in the area during the 2017 wildfire season are participating in a University of Montana study of their lung capacity. Researchers found that people's lung capacity declined in the first two years. Kaiser Health News reports researchers don't know how the residents are faring this year because they could not return to Seeley Lake due to the coronavirus pandemic. — Associated Press

Fauci To Join Navajo Nation President For COVID-19 Update

Health officials lifted a partial weekend lockdown on the Navajo Nation. Over the weekend, the Nation reported a total 29 new coronavirus cases and four deaths. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, will join him in a town hall style meeting Monday at 8:45 a.m. on Nez's Facebook page to discuss COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation. — Diane Maggipinto

Oil Town Looks To Trump For Industry Support

The oil town of Rawlins, Wyoming, has been hurting lately because both oil prices and demand are down due in part to the pandemic. Many in the town support President Donald Trump because he has championed the fossil fuel industry. They worry that Democrats want to move the country away from oil and towards renewable energy. Others said though that change was inevitable and Wyoming needs to prepare. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

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