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Coronavirus in Utah: Latest COVID-19 Updates for Thursday, April 9

Posted at 6:18 AM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 08:03:36-04
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8:23 PM- Utah State University announces the first death from COVID-19 in the USU community. L. Douglas James passed away at the age of 83 after a month-long battle with COVID-19.

6:20 PM - Governor Gary Herbert has ordered flags to be flown at half-staff on Friday, April 10, to honor prominent Utah businessman Bob Garff, who passed away due to complications from COVID-19.

5:40 PM - Navajo Nation President, Jonathan Nez, and Vice President, Myron Lizer are in self quarantine due to potential exposure to COVID-19. This comes a day before the Navajo Nation is going under a 57-hour weekend curfew beginning Friday April 10 at 8 p.m.

5:12 PM -The Department of Education recently announced that most federal student loans are automatically in forbearance, meaning all automatic payments have been suspended and consumers will not be charged interest or late fees.

4:58 PM - Utah Division of Emergency Management is launching a Wireless Emergency Alert for motorists entering Utah starting April 10, 2020.

4:42 PM - Salt Lake City Police Department has set up a site to help officers that have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 to decontaminate before heading home.

4:36 PM - Utah Senator Mitt Romney joins fellow Senators in sending a letter to the U.S. Ambassador of China asking to close all wet markets operating in China to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

2:30 PM - Utah's "Stay Safe, Stay Home" directive has been extended to the end of April. Utahns are urged to remain at home except for essential travel. (See the 10:10 AM entry below for guidelines).

1:34 PM - The Utah Department of Health's latest COVID-19 counts show there are 1,976 lab-confirmed positive cases in Utah. That's an increase of 130 cases in Utah since Wednesday's case counts were released. So far, the Health Department has received test results for 38,373 people. 168 of the 1,976 people who tested positive for COVID-19 in Utah have required hospitalization. 13 people have died of COVID-19 in Utah.

1:14 PM - The Box Elder County Sheriff's Office announced the following update to its jail visitation policy:

In an attempt to improve communication with loved ones during this pandemic, while still maintaining social distancing, we have negotiated a deal with Turnkey Corrections, our Video Visitation provider. They have graciously offered free ten minute video visits for two time periods each week per inmate, while the state is under a stay at home order. This means that you may video visit with your loved one from home for free during our allotted time slot. You will still need to set up the account through Turnkey and be approved as normal. To get set up, go to

Starting today, from 3:00pm to 8:00pm, and every Wednesday from 7:00am to 3:00pm and Thursdays from 3:00pm to 8:00pm will be our allotted free visitation time. Each inmate will be allowed two 10 minute visits per week. This will be in effect until Governor Herbert lifts the stay at home order. The reason for the limited time of 10 minutes is to facilitate more inmates getting their chance for free visits and the limited schedule is to keep Turnkey’s system from being overloaded and crashing.

The regular video visitation will still be available as it has been in the past with the same hours (except those allotted free times) but also, Turnkey has lowered the per minute charge from $0.39 to $.25 cents per minute.

12:10 PM - Capitol Reef National Park is closed to all visitors until further notice. This means all five of Utah's National Parks are closed.

11:16 PM - Salt Lake County residents will remain under a stay-at-home order until May 1.

11:00 AM - The World Health Organization published a free e-book for kids called "My Hero is You, How Kids Can Fight COVID-19!" Download the book here.

10:10 AM - The Utah Department of Health's essential travel guidelines in text form:

- Obtain products needed to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of your homes, residences, businesses and vehicles
- Obtain groceries and food, including delivery or carry-out services
- Travel to your place of work if you cannot telework
- Take your pet to the veterinarian
- Take your child to daycare
- Obtain gas
- Seek emergency services, obtain medications or medical services

10:05 AM - The Utah Department of Health posted this handy graphic showing what qualifies as "essential travel."

9:04 AM - The Utah Department of Workforce Services reports more than 33,000 people filed for unemployment last week as Utahns continue to endure the COVID-19 pandemic.

7:58 AM - The TriCounty Health Department offers the following information for pet owners:

We do not have evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19 to people or that they might be a source of infection in the United States. CDC is aware of a very small number of pets outside the United States reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after close contact with people with COVID-19. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19. Link to CDC here:

6:47 AM - Under the direction of the Southeast Utah Health Department, Grand County has banned leisure travel and overnight stays, including camping, for non-residents. Click here for more information.

6:26 AM - Intermountain Healthcare has launched an Emotional Relief Hotline for those coping with emotional distress due to COVID-19. "If you are experiencing emotional distress related to COVID-19, please feel free to call our COVID-19 Emotional Health Relief Hotline at 833-442-2211. There is no cost to call, and the hotline will be staffed every day from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m."

6:15 AM - Latest COVID-19 Confirmed Case Counts: 1,496,055 cases worldwide | 432,438 cases in the United States | 1,846 cases in Utah