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It’s Monday, June 1. We’ll provide the latest coronavirus updates involving Utah throughout the day.
[Read more coronavirus coverage here.]
1:10 p.m.: A higher percentage of Utahns are testing positive
Nearly 10,000 Utahns have tested positive for COVID-19, with the percentage of people testing positive rising quickly over the past week.
The Utah Department of Health reported 202 new cases on Monday, continuing a five-day trend of daily jumps over 200 cases statewide. There have been 9,999 Utahns diagnosed with the coronavirus since the pandemic began.
UDOH reported receiving 4,198 new test results since Sunday, with a total of 218,112 people having been tested in total. The percent of patients who tested positive for the past week was 7.1%, well above the previous week’s positivity rate of 5.2%.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 4.6% of Utahns who tested for COVID-19 received positive results.
For the prior seven-day period (May 19-May 25) there were 1,003 new positive cases reported, an average of 143 per day. Lab tests performed increased by 19,157 over the same timeframe, for a 7-day positivity rate of 5.2%.
Fourteen people had been hospitalized with COVID-19 since Sunday, UDOH reported. That brings the total number of hospitalizations to 789 patients, 95 of whom were still in hospitals on Monday.
No new fatalities were reported on Monday; the state’s death toll remains 113.
— Erin Alberty
12:50 p.m.: University of Utah releases plan to reopen
The University of Utah has released detailed plans for how it will reopen campus this fall, including a mix of in-person and online classes and required daily symptom monitoring for students and staff.
The outline, shared on the school’s website Monday, notes the situation will remain “very fluid” and dependent on coronavirus outbreaks, as well as whether Salt Lake City stays in the “orange” or moderate risk status for the disease. But the U. says it intends to welcome people back when the semester starts Aug. 24.
“We know how important it is to the student college experience to be part of campus life and we are working to make that possible to the greatest extent we can,” reads a letter from the U.’s leaders.
The semester schedule will be shifted. Classes will continue during the previously identified fall break (from Oct. 4 to 11). All in-person instruction will finish by Nov. 26 and then courses will go online from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3. The hope with that is to avoid any face-to-face interactions during the regular flu season.
The semester is scheduled to wrap by Dec. 11 after a week of online finals.
Students, though, will have the choice to take all online classes if they aren't comfortable coming back to campus.
Additionally, students and staff who are at the school will be asked to wear masks when social distancing isn’t possible. And there will be sanitizer stations throughout the buildings.
Anyone returning is required to complete an online health training module, as well as engage in daily health monitoring for symptoms.
The full plan for the U. can be found at returntocampus.utah.edu. And the school said it’s welcoming feedback there.
As part of a statewide plan, all eight of Utah’s public colleges are planning to reopen this fall, but they will have individual requirements for students.
— Courtney Tanner
11 a.m.: Midvale City cancels 2020 Harvest Days celebration
Citing the health and safety of residents during the pandemic, Midvale has canceled its Harvest Day festivities. The annual event, which dates back to 1938, includes a parade, music, games, food and fireworks.
This year’s Harvest Days were scheduled for July 27-Aug. 31.
"It is difficult to accept that these cherished events cannot continue this year,” said Mayor Robert Hale in a statement. “We look forward to the day when we can all come together once again and celebrate what makes Midvale such a wonderful and connected community.”
— Scott D. Pierce
8:50 a.m.: Two Salt Lake City liquor stores are shut down by the virus
Two state liquor stores in Salt Lake City will be closed after one employee — who worked at both stores — tested positive for the coronavirus.
An employee at the downtown store, 205 W. 400 South, tested positive, officials with the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control announced Monday.
The employee had also recently worked at the store at 1255 W. North Temple. Both stores will remain closed until professional sanitation and disinfection are completed by an independent company, DABC spokesman Terry Wood in a news release.
“At present, there is no timetable for reopening,” he said. “We are in contact with the employee and wish for a speed recovery.”
These are the third and fourth liquor stores that the state has been forced to close temporarily due to COVID-19. In April, the DABC shut down the Moab store and not long after shuttered its Murray location. Both were shuttered for about a week.
The latest closures come on the same day that the DABC will expand hours. Beginning Monday, all state stores will open one hour earlier — from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The DABC has not yet determined when stores that previously had a 10 p.m. closing time would return to those regular hours.
The agency shortened hours at the beginning of the pandemic and continues to limit the number of customers who can be inside the stores.
“Our employees will continue wearing masks and disinfecting checkout counters after transactions,” Wood said. “We ask our customers to please follow the advice of Gov. Gary Herbert and wear masks inside the store for the protection of our employees and other customers.”
— Kathy Stephenson