Jon Reed | KUER 90.1

Jon Reed


Jon came to KUER by way of Los Angeles, where he was a freelance reporter and production assistant for NPR member station KCRW. He received a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. Prior to reporting, he spent six years in the film industry as an editor and post production coordinator, and worked on everything from Hollywood blockbusters to independent documentaries. He mostly preferred the latter, until the slow gravitational pull of public radio drew him away altogether. At KUER, he covers a little bit of everything, paying special attention to quality of life issues and the economy.

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Photo of a man testing samples in a lab
Courtesy of Danielle Zebelean

Since the end of March, Utah researchers have been testing wastewater in an attempt to track the spread of the coronavirus in the state. It’s an experimental program whose first phase ended Friday. Now the data will be turned over to the state’s Department of Health for analysis.

Photo of a TRAX train.
Brian Albers / KUER

Public transportation ridership in Utah has plummeted since the coronavirus pandemic began. 

Photo of bar stools on top of tables
Kelsie Moore / RadioWest Films

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic has shattered small businesses around the country. 

Photo of a sign that says Brigham Young University on the university's campus
istock / Wolterk

The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic’s effect has been vast. It hasn’t only hit those already in the job market, it’s also prevented others from getting in. 

Photo of the entrance to the fairpark
Wikimedia Commons

Minority communities are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, according to demographic data from the Utah Department of Health. Early efforts to spread information about the virus failed to reach non-English speaking communities, but now several initiatives are underway to target hotspots in vulnerable communities, including one launching this weekend.

Photo of the bottom of an airplane
Brian Albers / KUER

As Utah and several other states begin to reopen sections of their economies, the U.S. Travel Association released guidelines Monday for how to safely bring the nation’s tourism industry back to life. 

Photo of a man in a hospital bed
Courtesy of Neal Murphy

As the spread of coronavirus in Utah appears to be slowing, state hospitals are still treating a small, but steady stream of patients with severe cases. 

Photo of empty chairs in a hospital corridor
Михаил Руденко via iStock

Utah’s hospitals have seen a sharp reduction in patient admissions over the last two months. Across the Intermountain Healthcare system, for example — the largest in Utah — 50% fewer patients are going to the emergency room, according to Dr. Adam Balls, emergency department chair at Intermountain Medical Center.

Illustration of a video classroom.
Toltemara /

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. 

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 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. 

Illustration of people wearing masks

As demographic data emerges around the country about which people are most vulnerable, health officials are now seeing that the virus disproportionately hurts people of color, particularly those who live in dense, urban areas.

Photo of a woman standing in a room
Jon Reed / KUER

With the coronavirus forcing businesses to close and leaving many out of work, Gov. Gary Herbert put a temporary stop to evictions in Utah and is allowing renters to defer rent payments until May 15. 

Photo of three people wearing face masks and standing in front of a tent
Moab Regional Hospital

Despite the growing need for health care in response to the coronavirus pandemic, hospitals, along with almost every industry in the country, have been hit economically. As they’ve geared up for a potential surge in coronavirus patients, major revenue sources have started drying up. 

Photo of University of Utah entrance sign.
Lee Hale / KUER

With online classes now the norm for most of the country’s schools and universities, students are adapting to learn in new ways. At the same time, many of the traditional benchmarks required in college applications — standardized testing and extracurricular activities — have largely been postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Photo of cribs and chairs in a large room
Division of Emergency Management

State officials unveiled one of Utah’s major contingency plans Monday in the fight against COVID-19 — 260 makeshift hospital beds that could be used if state hospitals are overrun. 

woman in park rollerskating with mask
Elaine Clark / KUER

A Salt Lake City nursing home has Utah’s first confirmed incident of community transmission of COVID-19 at a care facility, state and local health officials announced Saturday, the day after officials confirmed the first case in the Department of Corrections.

Photo of fence outside Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah.
Kelsie Moore / KUER

Updated 6:41 p.m. MDT 4/2/2020: This story has been updated to reflect an announcement from the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s office Thursday. 

Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said Thursday the state’s first inmate has tested positive for COVID-19. The inmate was one of six to have been tested for the virus out of roughly 1,400 countywide and is currently under isolation. 51 other inmates from the same unit have also been moved to medical quarantine cells at Metro Jail from the smaller Oxbow facility. 

Photo illustration of unemployment application forms
tommaso79 / iStock

Utah, along with the rest of the country, continues to see huge spikes in the number of workers filing for unemployment claims. 

Photo illustration of an eviction notice taped to a door
Anastasiia_New / iStock

Updated 9:45 a.m. MDT 4/2/2020

Gov. Gary Herbert issued an executive order Wednesday allowing Utah renters to defer rent payments and offering eviction protection until May 15.

Photo of a campus map on the Utah State University campus
Brian Albers / KUER

The Utah System of Higher Education Board of Regents voted Thursday to raise tuition at seven of the state’s eight public universities. 

Photo of the outside of the University of Utah Hospital building
Wikimedia Commons

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continues to increase, Utah’s hospitals and doctors are preparing for a surge that many predict is inevitable. 

Illustration of a woman with long blue hair hugging her knees sitting in a cage
Ponomariova_Maria /

In light of statewide recommendations to remain at home in order to slow the spread of coronavirus, domestic abuse calls have been on the rise over the last two weeks, according to the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Photo of people standing near a school bus and a cart holding packaged food.
Jon Reed / KUER

The coronavirus outbreak is still relatively under control in Utah compared to other states. As of Friday afternoon, 112 people in the state had tested positive for the disease but officials warn the worst is still ahead.

Photo of Piper Down pub from outside
Jon Reed / KUER

As the economic toll of social distancing weighs on bars and restaurants, Gov. Gary Herbert issued an executive order Wednesday evening to make it easier for them to return the alcohol they bought in March but can no longer sell.

Photo of a school bus
Tina Carter / Millard County School District

As schools and businesses gear up for closures, school districts in Utah are looking for ways to keep learning going outside the classroom.

Photo of a woman talking at a podium.
Jon Reed / KUER

Updated 11:27 a.m. MDT 3/15/2020

Gov. Gary Herbert announced Friday afternoon that all public schools in the state will be dismissed starting Monday, March 16. 

Three photos cropped together to show the Southern Utah University, University of Utah and Utah Valley University campuses
KUER file

On Thursday, state officials made recommendations for all public universities to suspend large gatherings, restrict non-essential travel and move classes online to help limit the spread of coronavirus.

Photo of 2020 Census form header.
liveslow /

Beginning Thursday, Utah households will start receiving a notice in the mail to fill out the 2020 U.S. Census. The attempt to count everyone in the country happens once a decade and affects how billions of Federal dollars are distributed. 

Photo of people gathered in the hall of the Utah Capitol building
Jon Reed / KUER

Tourism is a big business in Utah. In 2018 alone, the industry generated $9.75 billion and brought in travelers from all over the world. That included a record number of visitors to the state’s national parks and ski resorts.