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PM News Brief: DaVita settlement, Covid booster shots & rent prices leveling off

A photo of a 'for rent' sign in a front yard.
Brian Albers
/
KUER
A new report shows that rental prices are cooling off for the first time in several months. That story and more in this evening's news brief.

Monday evening Nov. 8, 2021

State

Nearly 4,000 new Covid-19 cases reported since Friday  

Utah health officials reported nearly 4,000 new Covid-19 cases Monday. That’s a three-day total, but about half of those cases were from Friday. Week to week, the state’s Covid situation has not improved. The positivity rate, daily average of new cases and hospitalizations are all up compared to last Monday. Officials said 14 more people died from the virus, and nine of them were between the ages of 45 and 64. — Ross Terrell

Utah Attorney General’s Office announces settlement with DaVita 

The Utah Attorney General’s Office has settled an antitrust lawsuit with the kidney dialysis company DaVita. DaVita wants to acquire the University of Utah’s 18 dialysis clinics. That would make it the largest provider in the state. Attorney General Sean Reyes said that brought up concerns. Under the settlement, DaVita must make it easier for insurers to include the clinics in plans and pay $80,000 worth of legal fees. The measures build on another settlement between DaVita and the Federal Trade Commission — which puts limits on the company’s ability to buy clinics in the future without oversight. — Caroline Ballard

Utah health officials encouraging people to get Covid vaccine booster shot

Utah Epidemiologist Dr. Leisha Nolen is encouraging people to get the Covid vaccine booster shot if they are eligible. Nolen said people who are older than 65 or received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago should get the booster as soon as possible. She said Utah has enough supply so people who aren't in those categories but are high risk can still get the shot. More than 150,000 Utahns have received the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine. So far, 55% of all state residents have been fully vaccinated. — Martha Harris

Southern Utah

Utah tourism looking forward to return of international visitors 

Last year, tourism revenue in Utah was down 30%, and the lack of international travelers was a big reason why, according to Vicki Varela, managing director of Utah’s Office of Tourism. As of Monday, all fully vaccinated international travelers are now able to enter the United States. Varela said the state is excited to have these visitors back because they tend to stay longer and spend more money. To help manage congestion in busy areas at peak times, she said visitors are encouraged to explore areas of Utah that may be off the beaten path. Read the full story. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Region/Nation

Rent starting to level off in the Mountain West 

A new report shows that rental prices are cooling off for the first time in several months. Apartment List, which is a national rental marketplace, found that rental prices have started to stagnate, or in some cases, even drop. That’s normal for the fall months, but especially welcome in a year that’s had unprecedented increases in rents across the Mountain West. — Madelyn Beck 

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