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PM News Brief: Triple Threat Test, Utah Jazz Fans & Native American Mascots

A photo of the Utah Jazz 'note' in front of Vivint SmartHome Arena.
Renee Bright
The Utah Jazz will allow a limited number of fans into Vivint Smart Home Arena when the NBA season resumes next month. This story and more in Tuesday evening's news brief.

Tuesday evening, November 24, 2020


Did Utah’s Two Week Pause On Social Gatherings Affect COVID-19 Cases?

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s two week “pause” on extracurricular activities and certain social gatherings ended Monday. He also extended a statewide mask mandate through Dec. 8. But it’s not clear yet if those measures have had an impact. There has been a slight, three day plateau in new COVID-19 cases. But, three days doesn’t make a trend. And, it’s unclear if this is just a pre-holiday testing slump, like the state saw before the 4th of July and Labor Day, according to Lindsay Keegan, an assistant epidemiology research professor at the University of Utah. Read the full story.— Sonja Hutson

11 More COVID-19 Deaths And Another 2,701 Cases

Utah’s Department of Health reported 2,701 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday. Over the last week, 23% of tests have come back positive and 552 people are currently hospitalized for the disease. Eleven more people have died, bringing the state’s total to 808 since the start of the pandemic. There are also 28 long-term care facilities, like nursing homes, that have at least five active cases of COVID-19. — Caroline Ballard

ARUP Labs Announces A Triple Test For COVID-19, Flu And Other Illnesses

Utah based ARUP laboratories announced it has developed a single test that can detect COVID-19, the flu and other respiratory illnesses. It’s performed using a deep nasal swab or by collecting specimens from the back of the throat and front of both nostrils. ARUP officials said the combined test is a “simple and accurate” way to tell which virus is causing sickness. They said it will help healthcare workers provide the proper type of care as the pandemic continues. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

Native American Mascots Still A Sticking Point

Standing in front of Bountiful High School Tuesday, Rep. Elizabeth Weight, D-Salt Lake City, announced a resolution urging all schools in Utah with Native American mascots to get rid of them. Weight, who is a Bountiful alum, said her legislation also calls for more education about why the Native imagery is problematic. She said now, it’s time for Utahns to make a stand. “We have a chance to step up,” Weight said. “We have a chance to portray that courage we say we have and change that mascot so that it fits in with who we say we are.” Nearly 6,000 people have signedan online petition asking Bountiful High School to retire its Native American themed mascot. Weight’s resolution also calls for schools to work more with Native American tribes. — Ross Terrell

Linden Cameron’s Family Files Lawsuit Against Salt Lake City

The family of Linden Cameron, the 13-year-old autistic boy shot by police in September, has filed a lawsuit against Salt Lake City. Cameron’s mother had called police to ask for a crisis intervention officer, since he was having a mental health incident. Nathan Morris, the family’s attorney, said they’re seeking monetary damages but also systemic changes to police use of force in Salt Lake. He said the goal is to try to “shine a light on problems and to work toward solutions.” The Salt Lake County District Attorney is still investigating the case and the Salt Lake City Police Department declined to comment on the investigation or the lawsuit. — Emily Means

Utah Jazz Allowing Limited Fans Into Arena For Home Games

The Utah Jazz will allow a limited number of fans into Vivint Smart Home Arena when the NBA season resumes next month. The team announced Tuesday, 1,500 people will be able to sit in the lower part of the arena, with a few seats available on the suites level. The stadium can hold about a little more than 18,000 people for basketball games. Jazz officials said fans will be required to wear masks and social distance and there will be sanitizing stations throughout the facility. The team’s schedule has yet to be released. — Ross Terrell

Southern Utah

So You’ve Heard About The Metal Monolith In Utah’s Desert...

Deep in the landscape of Utah's red-rock desert lies a mystery: a gleaming metal monolith in one of the most remote parts of the state. Officials said the smooth, tall structure was found during a helicopter survey of bighorn sheep in southeast Utah last week. A crew from the Utah Department of Public Safety and Division of Wildlife Resources spotted the object from the air and landed nearby to check it out. They found the three-sided stainless-steel object is about as tall as two men put together. But they discovered no clues about who might have driven it into the ground in such a remote area or why. — Associated Press


Developer Wants To Run Water From Utah To Colorado...But Not So Fast

A private developer’s proposal to build a water pipeline from the Green River to Colorado’s Front Range has been denied again. Aaron Million of Fort Collins has attempted to build some version of the pipeline for more than a decade. His latest iteration would’ve drawn water from the river in Utah, and pipe it hundreds of miles across Wyoming before dropping down into Colorado. But Utah’s top water officials rejected the proposal, saying it would hurt efforts to boost populations of endangered fish. — Luke Runyon, KUNC

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