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Illustration of a video classroom.
Toltemara / iStock.com

Teaching can be a hard job. Add in a global pandemic and statewide campus closures, and it becomes even harder. Now, with those closures extended at least through the end of the academic year, teachers like Amelia Landay have a long road ahead. 

Photo of a man in a blue suit in front of two flags
Sonja Hutson / KUER

Updated 12:24 a.m. 4/26/20

 

The Utah Republican Party hosted a virtual state convention Saturday to pick their nominees for the June primary. People running for office also had a chance to qualify for the ballot by collecting signatures. Candidates pre-recorded their speeches and the party posted them to its website earlier this week. Delegates voted using an app called Voatz, or called in their votes if they had technical problems. Roughly 93% of delegates voted, according to Utah GOP Chair Derek Brown. 

Bob Nelson

Utah’s Republican and Democratic parties are holding virtual state conventions this weekend, where delegates will decide which candidates each party puts on the primary ballots in June. 

Man in a suit stands at a podium with Utah state seal as backdrop.
Steve Griffin / Pool Photo

Gov. Gary Herbert’s legal team is reviewing whether the compounding pharmacy from which the state of Utah purchased a controversial anti-malaria drug to treat COVID-19 ever had state and federal approval to mass produce the medication, the governor’s office said Friday. 

Photo illustration of a person speaking in a phone screen
Renee Bright / KUER

In late March, President Donald Trump signed the Federal CARES Act giving a one-time stimulus check to adult U.S. citizens. The checks varied by income but can be as much as $1,200. Families received an additional $500 per child. KUER wanted to know how people planned to spend the money. Here are some of their answers.

Photo of the Utah state capitol building.
Brian Albers / KUER

The Utah Legislature voted to appropriate more than $1 billion in federal money Thursday toward the state’s coronavirus response. 

Screenshot from a virtual press conference
Sonja Hutson / KUER

Utah’s Coronavirus Community Task Force has a new subcommittee focused on addressing the needs of minority communities in Utah. 

Screenshot of Kirk Cullimore speaking during the Utah Legislature's virtual meeting
Emily Means / KUER

The Utah Legislature passed a bill during Thursday’s special session that protects businesses and people from civil lawsuits, if someone thinks they caught COVID-19 from a person or business. 

Photo of a hospital pharmacy storeroom.
ABBPhoto / iStock.com

The state of Utah has bought $800,000 worth of a controversial anti-malaria drug to treat COVID-19, according to records obtained by KUER. 

Aerial view of St. George, Utah.
iStock.com/alpenarts

KUER, NPR Utah will add a third reporter to its growing statewide coverage project, the station announced today. Lexi Peery, a print and radio journalist based in St. George, is set to join the station’s Southwest Utah bureau in June as part of KUER’s ongoing partnership with the national service program Report for America.

Photo of a woman with blonde hair wearing white headphones
Courtesy of Marci Green Campbell

Running for political office, especially when trying to win over state and county delegates, involves a lot of in-person interaction. But during the coronavirus pandemic, campaigning has gone virtual and the Republican and Democratic parties didn’t hold caucus meetings to elect new delegates. 

Photo of the how the healthy together app appears on an iphone
Ross Terrell / KUER

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert unveiled the “Healthy Together” app Wednesday to help the state track the spread of COVID-19. People who decide to download it can fill out a questionnaire about their symptoms and whether they’ve been in contact with anyone who had COVID-19.

Photo of people wearing masks and standing outside
Sahar Khadjenoury / UNHS

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in San Juan County more than tripled in the past week — and most of those are on the Navajo Nation. The number of cases went from 11 on April 15 to 34 on Wednesday, and only two of those are off the reservation.

Photo of a doctor holding a prescription of hydroxychloroquine.
BartekSzewczyk / iStock.com

Updated 1:31 p.m. MDT 4/22/2020

The anti-malaria medication hydroxychloroquine has entered center-stage in the conversation about the coronavirus crisis. President Donald Trump is touting it, health providers are testing it, and experts say it most likely won’t work as a COVID-19 treatment. With so much information and contradiction, here is a breakdown of what the medication is, how it’s being studied and where Utah and federal officials stand on the drug as it relates to COVID-19.

Photo of a laptop computer screen showing a video conference call
Courtesy of Candice Pierucci

Normally, the sound of chimes in the Capitol calls representatives to the House chamber to debate and vote on bills. Now, it brings them to their computers. 

Graphic illustration of of health care workers
elenabs via iStock

Health care providers are on the frontlines in the fight against the coronavirus. As they head in to work each day to confront a virus that is both unpredictable and highly contagious, it’s highlighting the need for them to be taken care of as well. 

Photo of a vista looking out over a dirt road, rows of pine trees and white canyon walls.
David Fuchs / KUER

ST. GEORGE — Kane County water officials have long said their county needed the Lake Powell Pipeline to keep up with expected demand.

But in a surprising shift last week, the county withdrew from the project that would transport water 140 miles from Lake Powell to Southwest Utah.

Photo of the Piper Down restaurant and pub building
Jon Reed / KUER

Restaurants and bars were among the first and hardest hit businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. To assist, a number of financial lifelines have been extended, including low-interest loans from federal, state and local governments. 

Photo of a person stocking a shelf at a pharmacy
MJ_Prototype / iStock

The state of Utah is negotiating the purchase of hydroxychloroquine to treat 200,000 coronavirus patients, despite little evidence that the anti-malaria drug works against COVID-19. 

Photo of two men in suits greeting one another with an elbow bump. One man is wearing a mask while the other holds a mask in his hand.
Jeffrey Allred / Deseret News Pool Photo

At the beginning of March, before Utah had any confirmed coronavirus cases, Gov. Gary Herbert stood at a podium in the state’s emergency operations center in the basement of the Capitol. He had an announcement. 

Emily Means / KUER

Hundreds of people gathered at the Salt Lake City and County Building Saturday protesting local and state policies that have shut down non-essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Soldiers load a cargo plane. An aircraft hanger marked with the words “Utah Air National Guard” is in the background.
Courtesy of Utah National Guard

ST. GEORGE — The first positive case of COVID-19 within the Utah National Guard was confirmed nearly a month ago: a soldier who was deployed outside of the state.

Photo of Goosenecks State Park
Creative Commons / cm195902

San Juan County relaxed its public health order restricting leisure travel on Thursday, one day before Gov. Gary Herbert announced Utahns can visit state parks outside of the county they live in. 

Photo illustration showing a piggy bank and dollar bills
401(K) 2012 via Creative Commons

This week, Utahns began receiving stimulus checks from the federal government. To get some expert advice on how people can best use that money, KUER’s Caroline Ballard spoke with Amanda Christensen, a financial counselor and editor of the Utah Money Moms blog

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Caroline Ballard: How good are people, generally, at managing their money?

Photo of the Utah state capitol building.
Brian Albers / KUER

The Utah Legislature passed a bill Friday granting immunity from lawsuits to health care providers that give their patients experimental drugs to treat diseases causing a public health emergency. The immunity also covers any medication used for a different purpose than the Food and Drug Administration has approved it for. 

Photo of KUER studios.
Austen Diamond Photography

KUER NPR Utah welcomes politics reporter, new role for producer

Photo illustration of a woman in a mask talking on a phone screen
Renee Bright / KUER

People who have weakened immune systems are considered high risk for COVID-19 related complications. As the immunocompromised community continues to navigate this pandemic, here are some of their stories in their own words. 

Photo of a ballot on a mailbox
Renee Bright / KUER

Utah’s primary elections in June could be held entirely through mail-in ballots, unless counties create drive-up polling options, under a bill passed by the Legislature Thursday. 

Screenshot of lawmakers wearing masks at dais.
le.utah.gov

Updated 5:52 p.m. MDT 4/16/2020

The governor would have to notify legislative leadership of an executive action during a pandemic at least 48 hours before they announce it, under a new bill passed by the Utah House of Representatives Thursday. 

Two men in suits stand in front of a photo backdrop of mountains.
Screenshot of a campaign video from Greg Hughes for Governor

ST. GEORGE — When Washington County Commissioner Victor Iverson signed on as Greg Hughes’ running mate on Tuesday, he became the first Southern Utahn to enter the race for the governor’s office in 2020.

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