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PM News Brief: Mask Mandate Ban Investigation, More University Vaccines & Ogden Canyon Water

A photo of disposable face masks.
Chelsea Naughton
The U.S. Department of Education launched an investigation Monday into Utah’s ban on school mask mandates. This story and more in Monday evening's news brief.

Monday evening, Aug. 30, 2021


Utah Elected Officials Support University Vaccine Mandates

Gov. Spencer Cox and other Utah legislative leaders have thrown their support behind COVID vaccination requirements at universities. Cox joined Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, and House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, in releasing a statement Friday. In it, they said state law allows Utah’s universities to require vaccinations. That’s as long as there is a path for students to submit personal exemptions and attend in-person classes. All three elected officials said they support this “balanced approach.” Utah Valley University became the latest to issue a vaccine requirement Monday. It joined the University of Utah, Weber State and Utah State. — Ross Terrell

Utah Ban On School Maks Mandates Under Federal Investigation 

The U.S. Department of Education launched an investigation Monday into Utah’s ban on school mask mandates. In a press release, the department said it’s concerned that restrictions on schools to issue mask requirements may be discriminating against students with disabilities. It says schools are legally required to provide an equal educational opportunity to all students. The investigation will look into potential violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Utah State Board of Education said it was unfair to include the state in the investigation. It noted state law does allow mask mandates if approved by county officials. Utah is one of five being investigated. — Jon Reed

Utah Weekend COVID Numbers Top 3,300

Utah health officials reported more than 3,300 new COVID-19 cases Monday. That’s a three-day total dating back to last Friday. It’s also the highest Monday total since early July when the state began reporting three-day numbers to start the week. The state’s COVID situation has worsened over the past week. Hospitalizations, the positivity rate and the seven-day average of new cases have all increased compared to last Monday. Five more Utahns have died from the virus. One man was between the ages of 25 and 44. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 2,600 people have died due to COVID. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

Construction On 100 S Exempt From Salt Lake City Complete Streets Ordinance 

A Salt Lake City committee decided Monday against adding bike lanes to a street project on 100 South near the University of Utah. They voted to exempt it from the city’s Complete Streets ordinance. That has some cyclists concerned about safety. Dave Iltis with Cycling Utah has been advocating for bike lanes there. He said sharing road space with fast-moving traffic can create a dangerous situation. Jon Larsen, Salt Lake City’s transportation director, said the project doesn’t need bike lanes because there are other options for cyclists on neighboring streets. Read the full story.Emily Means 

Ogden Canyon Water Shut Off

Water will be shut off in Ogden Canyon starting this evening through tomorrow morning. Though, it’s not drought related. The road through the canyon will also be closed to install a culinary water vault there to better maintain the water system. The closures will mainly affect the Cobble Community. Local traffic will be allowed through until 9 p.m. Monday, but there will be a hard closure from then to 6 a.m Tuesday. Residents should also plan on a temporary water shut off starting Monday at 10 p.m. and also lasting until 6 a.m. — Caroline Ballard

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