PM News Brief: 7 COVID Deaths, Safety In Utah's State Parks & Red Cross Calls For Plasma Donations | KUER 90.1

PM News Brief: 7 COVID Deaths, Safety In Utah's State Parks & Red Cross Calls For Plasma Donations

Jul 27, 2020

Monday evening, July 27, 2020

STATE

Seven More Utahns Die From COVID-19

Utah health officials reported 436 new cases of COVID-19 Monday. And the state’s death toll continues to rise. Officials announced another seven people have died due to the disease. Six were males and everyone was either hospitalized or a long-term care facility resident. So far, 297 of the more than 300 long-term care facilities have had at least one case of COVID-19. For the past week, Utah’s average of new daily cases remains above the 500 goal the governor set earlier this month. — Ross Terrell

Red Cross Facing COVID Plasma Shortage

The American Red Cross is looking for people who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma. The organization said as COVID-19 cases have surged, the demand has outpaced the donations coming in. Convalescent plasma contains COVID-19 antibodies that could help those fighting the disease recover faster. Clinical trials are currently underway to test its effectiveness, but many hospitals are already using it as a treatment. — Caroline Ballard

 

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

SOUTHERN UTAH

Grand County Residents’ Need For Assistance Drops As Does Unemployment

Over a quarter of Grand County workers lost their jobs this spring because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to unemployment claims filed in April. But many county residents went back to work when tourists returned to Moab, and the need for food and housing assistance has since declined. Still, Grand County’s unemployment rate — at 8%— is double what it was last summer. Some county officials believe the need for more assistance could rise this winter due to a shortened tourist season, as some employees will have to live off their savings. Read the full story. — Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

Six State Park Deaths Since January, First Land Incident

Charles Campassi, a 54-year-old Texas man died Sunday after falling 200 feet off of a cliff at Dead Horse Point in Southern Utah. It’s the first land related death at a Utah state park this year, according to Eugene Swalberg, with the state park system. Campassi’s group is believed to have been about 100 yards off trail. Since January, there have been a total of six deaths — five have been water incidents. Swalberg said the majority of incidents every year are from drowning and likely could be prevented with personal flotation devices. — Jessica Lowell

Utah’s Southeast National Parks Get New Superintendent 

The Southeast Utah Group of National Parks, which includes Arches and Canyonlands, has a new superintendent. The National Park Service announced the selection Monday of Patty Trap to head the group. Former superintendent Kate Cannon retired at the end of 2019. Trap comes to the position after serving in the same role at Mount Rushmore National Monument, where she helped in planning and organizing the 2020 Independence Day celebrations for President Trump. — Caroline Ballard

REGION/NATION

Live Arts Still Adapting To Coronavirus Pandemic

Across the Mountain West region, theater and live events have adapted to the COVID crisis by offering virtual events, highlighting past performances, and engaging with the community in lieu of in-person gatherings. In Boulder, Colorado, for example, the Dairy Arts Center launched an online events series called “Free Range Dairy.” If Congress passes another coronavirus aid package, it may include funding for small businesses and nonprofit arts organizations. — Amanda Peacher, Mountain West News Bureau

National Missing And Murdered Indigenous People Task Force Announced 

The United States Department of the Interior announced Monday it has established its first regional task force office to solve cold cases involving missing and murdered indigenous people. The Interior Department estimates that there are more than 1,400 of these cases. The first bureau is located in Bloomington, Minnesota, and will be followed in coming months by offices in South Dakota, Montana, Tennessee, New Mexico, Arizona and Alaska. Native advocates and tribes have criticized the Trump administration’s task force, saying it is an empty gesture, and that the government should do more to support Native health and safety. — Caroline Ballard