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PM News Brief: Unchanged Unemployment, Climate Protests & Blackfeet Nation Vaccinations

A photo of youth activists at the Utah State Capitol.
Ivana Martinez
/
KUER
Youth activists gathered on Friday morning at Utah State Capitol to protest the lack of political action on the climate crisis. This story and more in Friday evening's news brief.

Friday evening, March 19, 2021

State

Utah’s COVID-19 Update: Positivity Rate Remains Near 4%

Utah health officials reported 447 new cases of COVID-19 Friday. It’s the second lowest total this week. Utah’s positivity rate has stayed about the same since Monday — it’s now 4.2%. Health officials also announced 17 more people died from the virus but 12 of those happened at least a month ago. So far, more than 737,000 Utahns have received at least one dose of a vaccine. — Ross Terrell

February 2020 To February 2021 Unemployment Remains Unchanged

From February 2020 to this year, Utah’s unemployment level did not change. In fact, there were just 300 fewer jobs last month compared to the year before. For the month of February, the state’s unemployment rate was 3%. Nationally, it was a little more than double that. The trade, transportation and utilities as well as construction industries saw some the highest job growth year over year. Meanwhile, leisure and hospitality services along with education and healthcare had some of the largest losses. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

Youth Activists Gather At State Capitol For Climate Protest

Youth activists gathered on Friday morning at Utah State Capitol to protest the lack of political action on the climate crisis. It‘s a part of an international climate movement called “Fridays For Future.” Natalie Roberts is a 14-year-old activist and has been striking every week since the summer. She spoke at the protest today about the importance of this moment. “People think it's going to affect future generations, it's affecting us now,” Roberts said. “There are people that are dying, people that are suffering and that will become us very soon.” She said she’s tired of politicians making empty promises. Organizers sent Gov. Spencer Cox a petition asking him to take a stronger stance on the issue. — Ivana Martinez

Region/Nation

Blackfeet Nation Ahead Of Curve When It Comes To COVID-19 Vaccinating

Tribal nations in the Mountain West have been ahead of the curve when it comes to vaccinating their citizens against COVID-19. This week, leaders of the Blackfeet Nation in Montana announced that 95% of eligible Native and non-Native residents were vaccinated, and that it would reopen roads to and from the east entrance of the bordering Glacier National Park after a year of closure. — Savannah Maher, Mountain West News Bureau