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PM News Brief: Enforcing COVID-19 Restrictions, Utah Royals Coach & Value Of Mining

A photo of a face mask on the ground in front of the Utah State Capitol.
David Fuchs
/
KUER
Utah has new COVID-19 requirements, including a mask mandate and a two-week ban on social gatherings and extracurricular activities, but they will mostly be enforced by local authorities. This story and more in Monday evening's news brief.

Monday evening, November 9, 2020

State

Enforcing New COVID-19 Restrictions Comes Down To Local Level

Utah has new COVID-19 requirements, including a mask mandate and a two-week ban on social gatherings and extracurricular activities, but they will mostly be enforced by local authorities. Businesses that don’t implement the mask mandate can be subject to fines from the Utah Labor Commission. Gov. Gary Herbert said most other enforcement will be up to local health departments and law enforcement. Herbert acknowledged some of the new restrictions are difficult to impose, and called on Utahns to follow them voluntarily to prevent hospital overflow. — Sonja Hutson

2,247 New COVID-19 Cases

Utah health officials reported 2,247 new cases of COVID-19 Monday. The state has also set another hospitalization record as 444 people are receiving care. The rolling seven day average of new cases is now 2,437 with a positivity rate of 21. 2%. Officials also announced two more people have died from the disease. — Ross Terrell

Utah’s Hospital Association Urges Resident Cooperation

Utah’s Hospital Association said residents can help the healthcare system by following the new mandates set in place by the governor, to slow the spread of COVID-19. During the association’s press conference Monday, Arlen Jarrett, with Steward Health Care, said a majority of new cases can be contact-traced back to events within social circles. The governor’s orders prevent non-household, social gatherings for the next two weeks. And some extracurricular activities, like athletic events are also on hold until Nov. 23. — Darienne DeBrule

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

The Value Of Utah’s Mining Industry

Utah’s mining and extractive resource industry, like oil, gas and metals, had a production value of $6.5 billion in 2019. That’s according to a new report from the Utah Geological Survey, which found mining alone accounted for nearly $4 billion. The U.S. Geological Survey ranks Utah 7th in the country for metal and industrial mineral production. The state is also the only beryllium producer in the U.S. — and is responsible for 65% of the world’s production of the metal. It’s used in things ranging from cars to aerospace and computers. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

The Race For The 4th Congressional District Wages On

Utah’s 4th Congressional District race is still too close to call as Republican Burgess Owens maintains a slight lead over Rep. Ben McAdams, D-UT. As of Monday afternoon, Owens has 47.5% of the vote and McAdams has about 47.3%. That’s a difference of just 695 votes about the same margin as over the weekend. In 2018, it took two weeks to determine a winner. Either campaign could request a recount if the final tallies are within .25% of each other. — Sonja Hutson

Utah Royals FC Fire Head Coach

The Utah Royals soccer club has fired its head coach Craig Harrington. The team released a statement Monday saying the decision was made after “careful review and consideration.” Harrington had been put on leave back in September, during an investigation of alleged racist and sexist comments. The Royals players released a statement then, saying they’d had enough and wanted an inclusive work environment. Amy LePeilbet will continue to serve as the interim head coach. — Ross Terrell

National Guard Conducting Live Artillery Trainings

The Utah National Guard said it will be conducting live-fire artillery training exercises this week. They will take place Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Camp Williams, near Lehi. The National Guard says residents of Bluffdale, Riverton, Herriman, Eagle Mountain, Saratoga Springs and Lehi could hear artillery fire sporadically between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. each day. The exercises are not open to the public. — Caroline Ballard

Region/Nation

Native Turnout At The Polls Increases

Organizers feared that the pandemic would compound voting barriers on reservations and keep Native people from the polls this year. Instead, many reservations boosted turnout and voted overwhelmingly for President-elect Joe Biden. In key states like Nevada and Arizona, they likely helped put him over the top. — Savannah Maher, Mountain West New Bureau