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AM News Brief: Masks In Schools, Air Travel Challenges & Camping Despite Smoke Pollution

Photo of students in masks taking a test.
The Utah Department of Health released new guidance Monday for schools as they reopen amid another COVID-19 surge. This story and more in the Tuesday morning news brief.

Tuesday morning, Aug. 3, 2021


New State Mask Guidance For Schools

The Utah Department of Health released new guidance Monday for schools as they reopen amid another COVID-19 surge. Officials are recommending teachers and students wear masks indoors and encourage everyone over the age of 12 to get vaccinated. They said quarantining after exposure isn’t necessary if people are fully vaccinated or if both parties were wearing a mask at the time. It is possible for local health departments to issue a mask mandate in schools, but they must get approval from elected officials to do so and it could be overturned at any time. In a statement, House Speaker Brad Wilson said the new guidance places a high priority on minimizing disruptions to students. Most districts in Utah start school later this month. — Jon Reed

Northern Utah

Air Travel Challenges

Bad weather and operational issues have led to canceled flights around the country and in Salt Lake City. On Sunday, 13 flights out of Salt Lake International were canceled — most of them were American Airlines flights. There were also 208 delays — mostly regional carriers. The trouble continued Monday with another 13 cancellations and 149 delays. American Airlines has faced staffing shortagesthis summer just as pandemic-era travel records are being set. More than 2 million people went through U.S. airport checkpoints on Sunday. As of 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, one flight was canceled and another 12 delayed out of Salt Lake International airport. — Elaine Clark

Proposed Development Would Provide Tiny Homes For Unsheltered

Salt Lake City recently announced the proposed location for a new tiny home community for unsheltered people. The 443-unit village is planned for the west side of Salt Lake City near I-215 and Redwood Road. Joseph Grenny is with The Other Side Academy, the organization spearheading the project. They hope to break ground next year, and Grenny said one reason they picked the area is because it’s spacious. But some community members worry the project could further ostracize people experiencing homelessness by moving them away from the communities they have already built. Read the full story.Emily Means

Guilty Plea In Bankruptcy Fraud Case

A Utah attorney pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges of bankruptcy fraud. Eric Singleton of Salt Lake City convinced two clients to transfer money to him to hide their assets from bankruptcy proceedings. But Singleton embezzled their funds to the tune of $266,000 and spent the money on his own business and personal use. He’ll be sentenced in October and faces up to five years in federal prison. — Elaine Clark


Camping And Smoke Pollution

Smoky conditions from wildfires aren't keeping people from camping on public lands according to a report out Monday from the research group Resources for the Future. It found that average occupancy rates at campgrounds in the West dropped by just 1.3 percentage points when smoke was bad. Researchers worry about campers’ health risks, especially since camping involves extended time outdoors. — Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau

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