Utah health officials report 19 COVID deaths as Navy sends aid to hospitals to support staff


Dr. Kencee Graves talks with members of the U.S. Navy as they arrive to assist the College of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake Metropolis on Wednesday. The Utah Division of Well being reported 461 circumstances and 19 deaths within the newest day by day COVID-19 report. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah well being officers reported 19 COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, together with 461 new circumstances.

The rolling seven-day common for brand spanking new optimistic checks is now 405 per day. The seven-day common for optimistic checks is at the moment 13.2%, persevering with a decline.

The well being division reported one other 3,882 individuals who had been examined and a pair of,434 who had been vaccinated.

Faculty youngsters account for 45 of the 461 new circumstances. Of these circumstances, 25 had been youngsters between ages 5 and 10, 5 had been youngsters 11-13, and 15 had been youngsters 14-17.

At present, 306 persons are hospitalized within the state with COVID-19, in keeping with the Utah Division of Well being.

U.S. Navy helps with surgical procedure backlog

A medical staff of 20 United States Navy officers despatched by the Division of Protection arrived on the College of Utah Hospital on Wednesday to begin a 30-day deployment to assist with a backlog of surgical procedures.

These surgical procedures had been placed on maintain whereas the omicron variant took most of the hospital’s assets. Having further skilled medical individuals will imply the hospital can open extra beds and reschedule surgical procedures that had been placed on maintain.

This deployment is a part of the Division of Protection’s efforts to assist the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is in collaboration with state leaders, in keeping with a U of U press launch.

“Whereas we’re seeing declining numbers in COVID circumstances, 52 beds stay out of service due to staffing shortages,” mentioned Dr. Michael Good, CEO of College of Utah Well being.

He mentioned the hospital deferred a whole bunch of surgical procedures and was compelled into arduous selections relating to whether or not to take switch sufferers throughout the omicron COVID-19 wave.

“Because of FEMA and with the assistance of colleagues from the Division of Protection, which can deal with treating COVID-positive sufferers, we are able to start to deal with these challenges and supply wanted care to all sufferers in Utah and all through the Mountain West,” Good mentioned.

This story can be up to date.

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Utah health officials report 278 COVID-19 cases, 8 new deaths


Von Satter swabs his nostril for a COVID-19 take a look at on the College of Utah in Salt Lake Metropolis on Jan. 31. The Utah Division of Well being reported 278 new circumstances and eight deaths on Tuesday. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 1-2 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah well being officers reported eight extra COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, together with 278 new circumstances.

The rolling, seven-day common for brand new constructive checks is now 434 per day, down barely from the 438 common reported Monday. The seven-day common for constructive checks is 14.1%, persevering with a decline.

The well being division reported one other 3,756 individuals who have been examined and a pair of,928 who have been vaccinated.

The three-day development for COVID-19 circumstances within the state is declining for every totally different space in Utah, and the state as an entire has been persevering with an “incidence decline” in its epidemic curve since Jan. 21, in line with well being officers.

Utah’s “syndromic surveillance,” which was final reported on Feb. 27, is at 54 and is decrease than it has been since June 21, 2021. This quantity represents the seven-day common of the variety of emergency division visits the place people are exhibiting signs of COVID-19, influenza or RSV, respiratory syncytial virus.

At present, 314 individuals are hospitalized within the state with COVID-19, in line with the well being division. Of these sufferers 70 are in intensive care models. Simply over half of hospital beds are in use, in line with Tuesday’s report, and slightly below 70% of ICU beds.

Faculty youngsters account for 29 of the Tuesday’s new circumstances. Of these circumstances, eight have been youngsters between ages 5 and 10, 9 have been ages 11-13, and 12 have been ages 14-17.

The most recent reported deaths embrace:

  • A Davis County girl, between 25 and 44, who was hospitalized when she died.
  • A Duchesne County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County girl, 45-64, hospitalized.
  • A Salt Lake County girl, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Tooele County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Utah County man, 65-84, hospitalized.
  • A Washington County man, over 85, long-term care facility resident.
  • A Weber County girl, 65-84, hospitalized.

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Utah health officials report 278 COVID-19 cases, 8 deaths


Von Satter swabs his nostril for a COVID-19 take a look at on the College of Utah in Salt Lake Metropolis on Monday, Jan. 31. The Utah Division of Well being reported 278 circumstances and eight deaths on Tuesday. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: Lower than a minute

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah well being officers reported eight COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, together with 278 new circumstances.

College youngsters account for 29 of the brand new circumstances. Of these circumstances, eight have been youngsters between ages 5 and 10, 9 have been ages 11-13, and 12 have been ages 14-17.

The rolling, seven-day common for brand new constructive exams is now 434 per day, down barely from the 438 common reported Monday. The seven-day common for constructive exams is 14.1%, persevering with a decline.

The well being division reported one other 3,756 individuals who have been examined and a couple of,928 who have been vaccinated.

At present, 314 persons are hospitalized within the state with COVID-19, in keeping with the well being division.

This story will probably be up to date.

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State Department Officials Fought Over Lab Leak Theory


Within the last days of the Trump administration, the State Division was embroiled in a bitter dispute over China’s position within the origins of the coronavirus that’s now spilling into public view.

In an open letter posted on Medium on Thursday, Christopher Ford, former assistant secretary for worldwide safety and nonproliferation, stated he intervened to stop the US authorities from “embarrassing and discrediting” itself by accusing China of getting intentionally engineered the coronavirus — regardless of there being no proof to make that case.

In an interview with BuzzFeed Information, Ford stated his colleagues have been pushing to incorporate allegations that China had breached the worldwide Organic Weapons Conference in a State Division report back to Congress, which might have set off a diplomatic disaster with one of many United States’ chief world rivals.

It’s extremely uncommon for a former senior State Division official to publish a private account of current inner disputes. However Ford’s open letter comes within the midst of an acrimonious debate over the so-called lab-leak speculation for the emergence of the virus that causes COVID-19. Essentially the most excessive model of this concept means that Chinese language scientists engineered SARS-CoV-2 as a bioweapon.

Sourcing his account to emails put into the general public area by way of reporting by Fox Information and Self-importance Honest, Ford’s Medium put up detailed his more and more fraught relationship with David Asher, a contractor within the State Division who was operating its investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, and Thomas DiNanno, former performing head of the division’s Bureau of Arms Management, Verification, and Compliance (AVC). In accordance with Self-importance Honest, Asher and DiNanno considered Ford as pushing a preconceived conclusion that the virus had a pure origin.

Within the Medium put up, Ford stated that DiNanno signaled that the investigation was specializing in “China allegedly having violated the Organic Weapons Conference by creating the virus.” He added: “They appeared to consider that COVID-19 was a organic weapons (BW) effort gone awry — or even perhaps a BW agent intentionally unleashed upon the world.”

“They clearly gave the impression to be coming at this from a organic weapons angle,” Ford informed BuzzFeed Information. “They received squirrelly in the event you pushed again on whether or not there was proof to assist a organic weaponry discovering over the coronavirus, however they gave the impression to be making an attempt to construct a case.”

Ford additionally informed BuzzFeed Information that Asher and DiNanno wished to incorporate the declare that China had breached the Organic Weapons Conference in an annual report ready for Congress by the State Division. The report, mandated by US legislation, particulars nations’ compliance with worldwide agreements on arms management, nonproliferation, and disarmament.

“Their authorized arguments sounded fairly weak to me. They by no means introduced proof of precise [bioweapons] work,” Ford stated, including that his colleagues have been additionally arguing that China ought to have been present in breach of the Organic Weapons Conference for failing to totally reply questions concerning the COVID-19 disaster.

In his open letter, Ford additionally alleged that Miles Yu, a navy historian and specialist on China coverage, had informed DiNanno that former secretary of state Mike Pompeo wished to maintain the division’s bioweapons consultants and the intelligence group out of the loop of the division’s investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. Because the spring of 2020, Donald Trump and Pompeo had claimed to have proof that the virus emerged from a lab in Wuhan, China.

Yu denied the declare that Pompeo had sought to maintain consultants from reviewing the investigation. “AVC’s inquiry was not at all a rogue and hush-hush operation — it cooperated with our nationwide science labs, world famend scientists of significant however totally different opinions, and several other key businesses of the intelligence group,” Yu informed BuzzFeed Information by e-mail. “Chris Ford is spinning a story opposite to details to cowl up his excessive hostility towards any worthy science-based inquiry supported and inspired by Secretary Pompeo.”

Asher additionally disputed Ford’s account. “I used to be shocked that Ford didn’t have an investigation happening after I arrived and set about making an attempt to unravel potential Chinese language violations of the [Biological Weapons Convention]. Work that needs to be persevering with in AVC,” he stated by e-mail.

DiNanno didn’t reply questions from BuzzFeed Information, referring us to his account within the Self-importance Honest article.

The talk over the origins of the virus has intensified since late March, when a joint WHO-China report got here up empty-handed but judged a lab leak as “extraordinarily unlikely.” This prompted the US and 13 different governments to challenge a press release calling for “clear and unbiased evaluation and analysis, free from interference and undue affect.”

On Could 26, President Joe Biden revealed he had ordered a 90-day intelligence evaluation probing two situations: whether or not the coronavirus unfold naturally from animals to folks or was launched in a lab accident. And in a name with a senior Chinese language official Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken pressed China to permit extra research by WHO consultants into the origins of the coronavirus.

Main scientists have additionally lately known as for a deeper investigation into the origins of COVID-19, writing within the journal Science that “the 2 theories weren’t given balanced consideration” within the WHO-China research.

Ford is a conservative with a document of being hawkish on the threats posed to the US by China. What triggered his open letter was that his former colleagues had, in his view, mischaracterized him as being inherently against the concept that the coronavirus could have escaped from a lab.

“I strongly supported wanting into the ‘lab-leak’ speculation, which clearly is an actual chance,” Ford wrote in his Medium put up. “However I’m not simply saying this now. I stated it on the time, too. Lots.”

US announces sanctions for Somali officials after election delays | News


The Somali parliamentary elections, which have been as a result of maintain on February 25, have been moved but once more.

The US authorities has introduced visa restrictions to Somali officers and people, accusing them of “undermining the democratic course of in Somalia”, after one more delay within the parliamentary elections.

In an announcement issued by the US Division of State on Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated the sanctions have been “to advertise accountability for his or her obstructionist actions.”

The restrictions have been introduced simply hours after Somali leaders prolonged parliamentary elections to March 15 after failing to finish them on February 25.

“The delay within the conclusion of Somalia’s elections is driving political instability, threatening safety positive aspects, and undermining financial improvement,” stated Blinken.

The elections, which started final November have been imagined to be held a yr in the past however have been halted by a sequence of delays together with lack of settlement on how they might be carried out and infighting between the president and prime minister.

To this point, 179 of the 275 members of the decrease home have been chosen via a fancy technique of oblique voting by clan delegates. These lawmakers will in flip select the president, however the date for the presidential election has not been set but.

A protracted-running rift between the federal authorities and regional state leaders have raised the stakes in Somalia, which has confronted political instability because the 1991 overthrow of army ruler Mohamed Siad Barre, the nation’s third president.

Armed group al-Shabab, which is preventing to topple the central authorities has additionally intensified assaults in key areas the place elections are happening, worsening the state of affairs.

In keeping with the UN, about 4.3 million persons are affected who’re affected by the drought are in want of humanitarian help. Earlier this week, the Worldwide Financial Fund warned that it might cease funding to Somalia if elections should not accomplished in time.

The Nationwide Consultative Council led by the prime minister cited insecurity, worsening nationwide drought and monetary constraints, for pushing again the election completion deadline.

Nonetheless, the brand new deadline is unlikely to be met until underlying political disagreements amongst Somali leaders are resolved. As a part of a September 17 settlement, Somalia’s 5 federal member states are to conduct elections in two cities of their territory however the southern Jubaland state has accused the central authorities of interfering in its territory.

The deadlock is more likely to proceed till the political rift between Mogadishu and the area is settled.

Who should approve K-12 curriculum? State lawmakers, federal officials rank last, poll says


Eighth grade college students at Mount Jordan Center Faculty in Sandy work of their twin language class on Jan. 10. A brand new ballot says Utahns desires native faculty boards to have the first function in approving curriculum in Okay-12 faculties.
(Mengshin Lin, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 4-5 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Native faculty boards and academics, above others, needs to be liable for creating and approving curriculum for Okay-12 schooling.

That is in keeping with a brand new Deseret Information/Hinckley Institute of Politics ballot amongst 808 registered voters in Utah. Amongst those that responded to the ballot, 19% mentioned native faculty boards needs to be liable for curriculum choice whereas 17% mentioned academics needs to be accountable.

Thankfully, that is how issues are already carried out within the state’s public schooling system.

Who should approve K-12 curriculum? State lawmakers, federal officials rank last, poll says
Photograph: Deseret Information

Linda Hanks, president of the Utah Faculty Boards Affiliation, mentioned the ballot outcomes “verify what we believed to be true. We affirm our help of native governance by elected nonpartisan faculty boards working with their communities to develop and undertake curriculum aligned with Utah core requirements that meet the wants of their college students.”

In the meantime, 14% of these polled by Dan Jones & Associates from Feb 7-17 mentioned dad and mom needs to be liable for creating and approving public faculty curricula. The ballot has a plus or minus 3.45 proportion level margin of error.

Simply 2% of respondents mentioned federal officers ought to have a task in these choices and solely 3% mentioned the Utah Legislature needs to be concerned.

Forty-one p.c of those that responded chosen “a mix.”

Patty Norman, deputy state superintendent of pupil achievement, mentioned the processes that end in a sure curriculum being taught in a instructor’s classroom are intentionally thorough and contain many stakeholders from begin to end.

Curriculum choices are native choices however faculties should educate to the requirements established by the Utah State Board of Training. Creating new requirements can take a few years, and it might take a few 12 months for a college district to pick new curriculum.

“It truly is a pleasant checks and balances due to native management,” Norman mentioned.

There are alternatives for father or mother and public enter all through the processes, whether or not that’s serving on committees, taking part in public remark intervals or just sending an e mail to an elected faculty board member.

A father or mother who objects to their little one studying a sure ebook or taking part in a classroom exercise can decide out, too, she mentioned.

“After they make these statements, the instructor has the flexibility to say, ‘Thanks, your little one, they won’t take part on this exercise, however I nonetheless have to show your little one to the usual so I can do it by way of an alternate exercise,'” Norman mentioned.

Norman mentioned the ballot outcomes replicate what truly occurs — curriculum choice choices are made by native boards of schooling with suggestions from schooling leaders, and enter from dad and mom and academics, a few of whom “check drive” classes.

At the same time as educators put classes into motion, curriculum is additional refined to fulfill the wants of particular person college students, she mentioned.

“It might be that the kid must be challenged. It might be that the kid wants further time. It might be that the kid is simply not understanding the way in which that it is being offered by way of that textual content or that useful resource, they usually want one other means of doing it. So we go away it to our academics to be the implementers of efficient instruction,” Norman mentioned.

Whereas the ballot outcomes point out that curriculum choice just isn’t essentially a task for legislators, there are events when Utah legislators introduce laws that decision for the instruction of sure matters.

This session, for example, Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, is carrying, HB274, which might name for the State Faculty Board to determine curriculum necessities that embrace sexual violence conduct prevention. The invoice is earlier than the Home of Representatives awaiting motion.

Who should approve K-12 curriculum? State lawmakers, federal officials rank last, poll says
Photograph: Deseret Information

Whether or not to incorporate that in an area faculty curriculum can be an area resolution “as a result of it is a alternative of choices,” Norman mentioned.

The ballot additionally examined so-called educator transparency laws earlier than the Utah Legislature, asking the Utahns surveyed whether or not they help a proposal that will require all studying supplies in public faculties to be accepted by posting them on-line for not less than 30 days, holding a public listening to, and receiving last approval by the native faculty board.

Forty-five p.c of these polled mentioned they supported the proposal whereas 48% opposed and seven% mentioned they didn’t know.

Assist for transparency measures was highest amongst folks with a highschool schooling, with a complete of 62% saying they strongly or considerably help transparency measures.

In the meantime, 67% of the folks polled who’ve participated in postgraduate research mentioned they both strongly or considerably opposed such laws.

HB234, sponsored by Rep. Jordan Teuscher, R-South Jordan, is at present on maintain after vital pushback by the Utah Training Affiliation.

Norman mentioned individualized instruction renders full transparency unworkable as a result of some curriculum modifications are made in actual time to accommodate college students’ wants.

That mentioned, educators are liable for vetting sources they use.

“If it is a hyperlink, I have to go there, and I want to ensure I’ve appeared by way of all the pieces on it. I want to ensure there’s there is no bias, I have to ensure that it aligns to the requirements. If it does not align to the requirements, we should not be educating it. And you already know, and I have to ensure that it is efficient, that there is a function for it,” she mentioned.

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Fugitive Who Faked His Death and Fled U.S. Is Caught in Scotland, Officials Say


The Rhode Island State Police and the F.B.I. referred questions on Mr. Alahverdian’s present standing to Mr. Leavitt’s workplace, which mentioned that it was not instantly clear whether or not Mr. Alahverdian was nonetheless hospitalized.

The net tribute to Mr. Alahverdian, which gave Feb. 29, 2020, because the date of his loss of life and clocked in at practically 1,000 phrases, mentioned that his “earthly stays had been cremated together with his ashes scattered at sea.”

“On the time of his passing, the room was full of the sounds of the top credit for the 1997 movie ‘Contact’ by composer Alan Silvestri, a movie and rating which held particular which means for Mr. Alahverdian,” the tribute learn. The film, tailored from a novel by Carl Sagan, entails a doable message coming from a distant star system.

The tribute mentioned that Mr. Alahverdian had earned acclaim as a toddler welfare reform advocate, drawing from his personal expertise of being raped and assaulted in Rhode Island’s youngster welfare system.

It quoted Jorge O. Elorza, the mayor of Windfall, remembering Mr. Alahverdian as a “a beloved neighborhood chief whose selflessness and lifelong contributions to the residents of the State of Rhode Island have earned him the unwavering admiration and respect of many.”

A spokeswoman for Mr. Elorza didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Thursday.

On a Fb tribute web page for Mr. Alahverdian, an in memoriam quotation signed by Consultant Jim Langevin, Democrat of Rhode Island, continues to be prominently displayed.

In line with Mr. Langevin’s workplace, the quotation, which incorporates the Home seal, was requested by somebody claiming to be a member of Mr. Alahverdian’s household. An aide to Mr. Langevin described it as a typical courtesy for the workplace to accommodate such requests, although he mentioned that had it recognized about Mr. Alahverdian’s background, it might not have granted it.