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PM News Brief: Home Prices Outpacing Wages, VP Debate Prep & Salt Lake City COVID-19 Restrictions

A photo of houses in Salt Lake City.
Brian Albers
/
KUER
A new study released Tuesday shows wages in Salt Lake City are not keeping pace with its rising home prices. This story and more in Tuesday evening's news brief.

Tuesday evening, October 6, 2020

State

Security Sweeps And Online Cases All Apart Of The U’s Debate Prep

The U.S. Secret Service will perform sweeps of buildings on the University of Utah’s campus Tuesday night, ahead of Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate between Republican Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris. It’s the latest precaution in preparation for the event. More than a week ago, the U launched its “circuit breaker” effort, closing down campus and moving classes online to help slow the spread of COVID-19. University spokesperson Chris Nelson said the debate has definitely disrupted normal life, but it’s worth it. He said Utah has sought to host a presidential debate for the past two election cycles, so the U is “viewing it as not only the University of Utah vice president debate, but really a debate for the entire state.” — Emily Means

Utah Department Of Corrections Dealing With Prison COVID-19 Outbreak

Utah’s Department of Corrections is working to contain a COVID-19 outbreak in two housing blocks at the Draper prison. Nearly 200 inmates have tested positive for the disease, according to Mike Haddon, the department’s executive director. He said they’re doing their best to keep it from spreading and have provided masks to inmates. Utah health officials also announced 716 new cases across the state Tuesday and that six more people have died from the disease. Read the full story. — Ross Terrell

Top Church Member Tests Positive For COVID-19

Gerrit W. Gong, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his wife Susan have tested positive for COVID-19. Gong had been exposed to the virus before General Conference last weekend and spoke remotely as a result. The Church released a statement Tuesday saying Gong and his wife have mild symptoms of the virus. He is the first known positive case among top Church leadership. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Northern Utah

Salt Lake City Mayor Requests Tighter Restrictions For City

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall has asked the county and state to tighten restrictions in the city due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases. Right now, Salt Lake City is in the yellow, low restriction phase but Mendenhall has requested a move back to the orange, moderate level. That would put a 20-person cap on large gatherings, instead of 50, which the mayor says has contributed to the recent increase. If approved, the new restrictions could be in place as early as this weekend. Last month, Provo and Orem became the first two localities in Utah to have restrictions tightened by the governor. — Ross Terrell

Home Prices In Salt Lake City Increasing Faster Than Wages

A new study released Tuesday shows wages in Salt Lake City are not keeping pace with its rising home prices. Construction Coverage used data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the housing website Zillow. The study found from 2014 to 2019, home prices in the city increased nearly four times as much as wages did. Last year, the median price to buy a home was more than $372,000, while the median earnings were around $40,000 a year. Salt Lake City ranked fourth nationwide for the largest wage-to-home price ratio for large metro areas. — Caroline Ballard

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