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PM News Brief: Sean Reyes positive for COVID, Thanksgiving travel & weekend COVID update

Photo of a man speaking from behind a podium on a stage
Rick Egan
/
Salt Lake Tribune
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has tested positive for COVID-19. This story and more in Monday evening's news brief.

Monday evening, Nov. 22, 2021

State

Utah attorney general tests positive for COVID-19 

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has tested positive for COVID-19. In a statement released Monday, his office said Reyes is fully vaccinated. But he tested positive last week after suffering cold symptoms. His family has tested negative. Last week, Utah House Majority Leader Mike Schultz, R-Hooper, also confirmed he had tested positive. Reyes is involved in numerous lawsuits challenging COVID-19 vaccine mandates imposed by the federal government. The Republican argues that vaccination should be a personal choice. His office is also defending a law that severely restricts local school districts from imposing mask mandates. — Associated Press

Utah weekend COVID update 

Utah health officials announced more than 3,800 new COVID cases Monday. That’s a three-day total dating back to Friday. The state crossed a milestone in its efforts to fight the virus. Utah has now received more than 5 million doses of the vaccine. Still, just 55% of all state residents have been fully vaccinated. Health officials said 14 more people have died from the virus. Two of them were between the ages of 25 and 44. — Ross Terrell

Northern Utah

Salt Lake City airport expects 25,000 passengers day before Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and if you’re planning to fly out of Salt Lake’s airport, officials said be prepared and get there early. Wednesday is shaping up to be a busy one as 25,000 people are expected to move through the two terminals. That would be nearly double last year’s number. A little more than 13,000 traveled the day before Thanksgiving in 2020. To help navigate the increase in foot traffic, check to make sure your flight is still on time before heading to the airport. Officials said the Sunday after Thanksgiving is also going to be packed. — Ross Terrell

Rose Park residents continue opposition to Kozo House apartments

It’s been months since tenants were displaced from their homes due to the incoming Kozo House apartment complex on Salt Lake City’s west side. Now, developers are talking with community members about what they want to see as the project moves forward. The development has faced public opposition due to concerns about unaffordable rent and because it’s forced long-time residents to relocate. Angelo Montenegro with the Rose Park Brown Berets said the organization wants the homes to be given back to the community or for truly affordable housing to be built there. City officials say they’re hopeful the conversations between the developer and neighborhood will lead to a project that’s useful to the community. Read the full story. Emily Means

Region/Nation

How federal infrastructure law could affect wildfires 

The new infrastructure law pumps more than $3 billion into fighting wildfires. A lot of that money will go into protecting towns and drinking water sources from severe blazes over the next six years. The law orders federal agencies to treat 10 million acres across the country. The goal is to clear out underbrush and lessen the severity of wildfires near where people live. Techniques include prescribed burning, thinning out dead or sickly trees and creating fire breaks. The infrastructure law also boosts pay for wildland firefighters and it gives agencies $200 million to contract with third-party laborers to clear out underbrush and use it to create biochar — a type of soil. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

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