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AM News Brief: Limit To Protests At Homes, Utah's COVID Deaths & Stories Antidote To Becoming Numb

A photo of small bottles labeled 'COVID-19 Vaccine' and a needle.
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Utah health officials reported more than 20 COVID-19 related deaths for the third time in a row Thursday. This story and more in the Friday morning news brief.

Friday morning, December 11, 2020

State Epidemiologist Says “Every Effort” Required

Utah health officials reported more than 20 COVID-19 related deaths for the third time in a row Thursday. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 1,000 Utahns have died from the disease, something state epidemiologist Angela Dunn said people should take seriously. She said while the deaths represent a small fraction of the people who have contracted the disease, “we still must make every effort to do our part to protect the lives and livelihoods of Utahns.” Dunn said the high death mark is attributed to the surge in cases the state saw after Thanksgiving, and she asked for people to continue to wear a mask and limit their social activity to those in their household. Officials reported another 3,400 cases Thursday. — Ross Terrell

New Ordinances Limit Protesting At Residences

A pair of Utah cities have passed ordinances prohibiting targeted protesting or picketing close to private homes. The Provo Daily Herald reports the Lehi City Council and Spanish Fork City Council separately approved ordinances barring demonstrations aimed at a specific person within 100 feet of their home. The ordinances followed protests outside the homes of state officials, including Republican Gov. Gary Herbert and Department of Health Director Joseph Miner. The Lehi ordinance makes targeted picketing within the restricted area a class B misdemeanor. The Spanish Fork ordinance also carries a class B misdemeanor charge, but only after a second violation. — Associated Press

Stories Are Antidote To Becoming “Numb” To Virus Deaths

The United States hit a horrific milestone this week. More than 3,000 COVID-19 fatalities in just one day. Seeing someone die and hearing death data are very different. That’s according to psychologists studying human reaction. And unfortunately, as the number of deaths grows, it can actually be harder to care because people can’t relate. Psychologists caution that people need to dig deeper to understand the humans behind the numbers. Then it’s up to the media to tell the stories of those individual lives lost, and up to people to listen. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau