Showing: 1 - 5 of 5 RESULTS

Utah officials announce new pandemic strategy, mask mandates

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah is implementing a new strategy to fight the coronavirus pandemic as the number of confirmed cases and hospitalizations continued to surge, state officials announced Tuesday.

The state will move away from its color-coded health system and instead place counties under restrictions based on their COVID-19 transmission rates, said Gov. Gary Herbert. Each county will be listed as high, moderate or low level transmission areas.

Six counties — Salt Lake, Utah, Cache, Garfield, Juab and Wasatch — have been designated as high transmission areas. Masks will be required in all indoor settings in these counties, and social gatherings must be limited to 10 people or fewer, said Rich Saunders, acting director of the Utah Department of Health.

In moderate transmission areas, gatherings will be limited to 25 or fewer unless masks are worn, said Saunders. Gatherings will be limited to 50 or fewer in low transmission areas if people don’t wear masks.


As a two-week “circuit breaker,” masks must be worn in all moderate transmission counties until Oct. 29, said Saunders.

Utah has been in the midst of a record-setting surge in reported coronavirus cases over the past month. The state ranks fifth in the country for newly confirmed infections per capita, according to data from Johns Hopkins. Utah’s health department reported a seven-day average of 1,182 new positive test per day on Tuesday, just below Saturday’s record of 1,189.

“We are having one of the worst outbreaks in the country, and this is unacceptable,” Herbert said.

There have been over 87,000 reported virus cases in Utah and 522 people have died, according to state data. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

Source Article

Thousands of farmed minks have died from COVID-19 in Utah

Nearly 10,000 minks have died across several farms in Utah due to COVID-19 in a matter of weeks, a state official said.

State veterinarian Dean Taylor told NBC News that the deaths have been spread across nine mink farms in Utah over just two weeks.

While the official noted “research indicates there hasn’t been a spread from minks to humans,” he said that the minks suffered from respiratory issues, which have also been reported among humans. 

“Minks show open mouth breathing, discharge from their eyes and nose, and are not sick for several days before they pass away. They typically die within the next day,” he told the network.

He also said that older animals have proven to be more vulnerable to the disease.

Taylor told NBC News that the illness has been “wiping out 50 percent of the breeding colonies.”

He said the country first started seeing minks return positive results for the coronavirus back in August. The discovery, Taylor said, came after several workers were diagnosed with the virus.

Taylor told the network that the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among other federal agencies, are working to mitigate the outbreak.

“Once final testing is done, we’re going to create a state plan to stop this virus from spreading to more farms,” he said. 

“It’s far easier to prevent it from happening, then stopping it from happening all at once,” he added.

Source Article

Thousands of minks die from Covid-19 in Utah farms

Thousands of farmed minks in Utah have died of Covid-19, forcing affected sites to quarantine as the state veterinarian investigates the outbreak.

Nearly 10,000 minks — creatures known for their luxurious, silky pelts — have died in the past two weeks at nine fur farms in Utah, as of Friday morning, Dean Taylor, state veterinarian, told NBC News.

The virus was discovered among the animals in the U.S. earlier in August, shortly after ranch workers tested positive, he said.

Taylor said that while research suggests people with Covid-19 can infect animals, transmission the other way around is “considered low.”

“All of the research indicates there hasn’t been a spread from minks to humans,” Taylor said.

Like humans with Covid-19, the most common symptom for infected minks has been respiratory distress, he said.

“Minks show open mouth breathing, discharge from their eyes and nose, and are not sick for several days before they pass away,” Taylor said. “They typically die within the next day.”

Taylor added that the virus has predominantly targeted older minks, “wiping out 50 percent of the breeding colonies,” while leaving the younger ones unscathed.

Minks join a list of more than 50 animals, including cats, dogs, tigers, and lions, who have contracted Covid-19 in the U.S., according to Department of Agriculture data.

The creatures were discovered to have been susceptible to the new coronavirus after outbreaks were detected in the Netherlands, according to the USDA.

The initial discovery was followed by outbreaks from Spain and Denmark, leading the countries to kill more than 1 million farmed minks as a precaution, The Associated Press reported.

No animals have been put down because of the outbreak, Taylor said.

He said he was working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USDA, and Wildlife Services to provide more protective equipment and adequate training to mink farmworkers to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“Once final testing is done, we’re going to create a state plan to stop this virus from spreading to more farms,” Taylor said. “It’s far easier to prevent it from happening, then stopping it from happening all at once.”

Source Article

Utah surpasses 500 coronavirus deaths as surge persists

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah surpassed the grim milestone Thursday of 500 deaths from the coronavirus as the number of new cases and hospitalizations continued to break records.

Utah has been in the midst of a record-setting surge in reported coronavirus cases over the past month. The state now ranks fifth in the country for newly confirmed infections per capita, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

Utah set a daily case count record with 1,501 new cases reported Thursday, as well as a record 237 patients who are currently hospitalized.

Dr. Emily Spivak, an infectious diseases physician at University of Utah Health, said the intensive care unit at her hospital had reached 95% capacity. She issued a plea to residents during the governor’s weekly briefing to follow medical recommendations and wear masks so the state’s hospital systems don’t become overwhelmed.

“Our healthcare workers are tired,” Spivak said. “They’re suffering, and they don’t want to see another person die alone of a preventable infection.”


The surge was initially driven by college students in Utah County, home to Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University.

Almost all of the county has been experiencing a decline in new cases for the past few days, state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said. At the beginning of the spike, Utah County was accounting for 40% of the state’s new cases but this week accounted for 30%.

The county health department issued a face covering mandate in response to the surge over a week ago. For months, Republican Gov. Gary Herbert has urged residents to wear masks but stopped short of ever implementing a statewide order.

There have been over 81,000 reported virus cases in Utah, according to state data. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

___

Sophia Eppolito is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

Source Article

Paris Hilton calls for Utah boarding school’s closure following her abuse allegations, starts petition

Paris Hilton is calling for the Provo Canyon School (PCS) — where the socialite alleges she was abused while she was enrolled as a teen — to be shut down.

The former “Simple Life” star shared never-before-heard details of what she allegedly endured in her new documentary “This is Paris,” as well as in an interview with People magazine last month. Hilton claimed she was traumatized daily at the Provo Canyon School in Utah, where she was enrolled for 11 months at age 17.

Provo Canyon School previously responded to People magazine’s original report, telling Fox News in a statement at the time: “Originally opened in 1971, Provo Canyon School was sold by its previous ownership in August 2000. We therefore cannot comment on the operations or patient experience prior to this time.”

Provo Canyon School did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request seeking additional comment.

PARIS HILTON’S BOARDING SCHOOL ABUSE: FORMER CLASSMATES REVEAL NEW DETAILS, DUB STAR A ‘HERO’

Now, the hotel heiress and pop culture phenomenon is calling for the facility to be shut down in a new video shared on her YouTube Channel on Monday.

“I was abused at Provo Canyon School,” Hilton, dressed in a sharp white blazer, claimed in the video, which is titled: “SHUT DOWN PROVO CANYON SCHOOL.”

Paris Hilton previously alleged she was traumatized daily at the Provo Canyon School in Utah, where she was enrolled for 11 months at age 17. The boarding school has said that it was 'originally opened in 1971' and 'was sold by its previous ownership in August 2000. We therefore cannot comment on the operations or patient experience prior to this time.' (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)

Paris Hilton previously alleged she was traumatized daily at the Provo Canyon School in Utah, where she was enrolled for 11 months at age 17. The boarding school has said that it was ‘originally opened in 1971’ and ‘was sold by its previous ownership in August 2000. We therefore cannot comment on the operations or patient experience prior to this time.’ (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)

Below the video, Hilton alleges that “Provo took away my childhood among thousands of other survivors, as early as 9 years old.” She added that “while this movement is so personal to me, it is much bigger than just my experience.”

The 39-year-old further maintained in the clip that she plans to “put all my effort into reforming the industry.”

PARIS HILTON DETAILS ALLEGED ABUSE AT UTAH BOARDING SCHOOL FOR THE FIRST TIME: ‘CONTINUOUS TORTURE’

In addition, Hilton plugged a Change.org petition, which had over 40,000 signatures at the time of publishing. She has been pushing for reform on her Twitter account as well.

“This Is Paris,” a recent documentary centered on Hilton’s upbringing and wild teenage years which aired on YouTube earlier this month, put the Utah school on notice and shed light on the #BreakingCodeSilence initiative Hilton and her former Provo classmates launched to expose the industry.

Paris Hilton. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)

Paris Hilton. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)

A memorandum has since been placed on the boarding school’s website just below the masthead, referencing the Hilton’s documentary.

PARIS HILTON SAYS SHE WAS PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY ABUSED IN PAST RELATIONSHIPS

“We are aware of a new documentary referencing Provo Canyon School (PCS),” the note reads. “Please note that PCS was sold by its previous ownership in August 2000. We therefore cannot comment on