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PM News Brief: Intermountain visitation rules, vaccinating zoo animals & Green Canyon vandalism

Minks at a mink farm.
iStock
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AFP via Getty Images
Zoos are continuing vaccination efforts among animals, like minks, that are susceptible to COVID-19. That story and more in this evening's news brief.

Monday evening, Jan. 17, 2022

State

Intermountain Healthcare rolls out new visitation policy

Intermountain Healthcare is “temporarily tightening” visitor rules starting Tuesday. Overnight visitors are not allowed except for patients who are pediatric, in labor and postpartum, suffering from dementia, critically ill or at the end of life. This is to avoid people sleeping without their masks on. The changes are due to the spike in COVID-19 cases from the omicron variant and an increase in patients. Visitors are required to be masked at all times in IHC facilities. — Lexi Peery

Northern Utah

University of Utah hosts MLK Day rally, aims for more equitable campus

University of Utah leaders gathered Monday with elected officials to begin their journey towards becoming a “beloved community.” In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, university leaders and politicians asked the community to take steps toward creating a more equitable world. The rally comes a week after the U’s Black Cultural Center received bomb threats. Mary Ann Villarreal, with the office of equity, diversity and inclusion at the U, acknowledged they have a lot of work to do to address the racial discrimination some students have experienced on campus. President Taylor Randall said they’re implementing a new series of progress reports to address racist issues on campus. Read the full story. — Ivana Martinez

Vandalism in Green Canyon has officials asking public for help 

The U.S. Forest Service is asking the public for help following multiple vandalism incidents in Green Canyon near Logan. The Herald Journal reports 28 decking screws were found along a trail. Officials said they were placed on a blind, downhill corner. Sheet metal screws were found a day later and wires had been cut on trail grooming equipment. A Logan district ranger believes the vandalism was in response to trail use changes. The new rules require hikers to use snowshoes in certain areas. Bikes are also required to have tires that are at least four inches wide. — Ross Terrell

This article is published through the Utah News Collaborative, a partnership of news organizations in Utah that aims to inform readers across the state.

Southern Utah

New Lake Powell management plans should stop reservoir from dipping too low

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation plans to adjust management protocols for the Colorado River. The Bureau announced this month it’s an effort to reduce monthly releases from Lake Powell to keep the reservoir from dropping farther below last year’s historic lows. The Spectrum reports as of early January, Lake Powell sat at an elevation of a little more than 3,500 feet. Once it dips below 3,490 feet, the generation of hydropower by water flowing through the Glen Canyon Dam becomes unreliable. — Associated Press

Region/Nation

Zoos across the Mountain West continue to vaccinate their animals 

Big cats like lions are susceptible to COVID-19. So are mink, and some hooved animals like deer. So many zoos are using a vaccine specifically made for animals to try and keep their often-endangered residents healthy. While many of the most vulnerable animals have already been vaccinated at zoos, the shots are continuing, to protect other animals and make sure both the animals and zoo patrons stay healthy. — Madelyn Beck, Mountain West News Bureau 

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