News Clips for April 3-10, 2020

Universities Get Creative With Technology Due to Coronavirus Closures

Universities scrambled over the past month to move classes online as the coronavirus pandemic forced campus closures. With social distancing likely to extend through the spring semester, chief information officers are taking stock of their actions, identifying quick solutions that could one day become permanent fixtures on a postcrisis campus.

Why many ‘essential’ workers get paid so little, according to experts

There are four key reasons, economists say, including an entrenched power differential

In the absence of a national testing strategy, states go their own way

As states like Massachusetts, New York and California forge ahead, the White House examines how to leverage tests to get Americans back to work

Colleges are ditching letter grades this spring, but not all students are on board with ‘ungrading’

Niko Savas was trying his best to concentrate on his online classes at Georgetown Law, despite the exhaustion, fever and aches caused by his bout with covid-19.

U.S. May Get More Ventilators But Run Out Of Medicine For COVID-19 Patients

As hospitals across the country fill with COVID-19 patients, medical personnel are sounding the alarm about shortages of drugs essential to those patients' care.

Coronavirus: preparing for crisis, hospitals across US struggle under financial strain, equipment shortages

Medical facilities in smaller American cities and rural areas face grim reckoning as Covid-19 spreads. Halt in non-essential, revenue-generating surgeries and procedures pummels hospitals’ bottom lines.

SXSW Review: The Dilemma of Desire Celebrates Pleasure and Liberation

The Dilemma of Desire is an engaging and informative documentary built around revolutionary work, large and small, that aims to shatter myths and lies that women are being told about their sexual desire and their bodies.

Universities and Tech Companies Pledge to Allow Free IP for COVID-19 Uses

Various technology companies and universities have united, agreeing to make intellectual property available at no cost for use in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies including Intel, Mozilla, and Creative Commons, as well as universities like Stanford and American University’s law schools, have signed the Open COVID Pledge agreeing to make their intellectual property available for certain uses. The hope is allowing free access to IP will help organizations develop medicines and vaccines to aid with the pandemic.

Tour of Utah Canceled, Underscoring Park City’s Economic Limbo

Organizers have officially canceled the 2020 Tour of Utah due to concerns about the continued spread of COVID-19. The decision to suspend the race—which was due to take place in early August with stages in various venues in Park City on August 6, 8 and 9—highlights the depth of economic uncertainty facing Park City and Summit County this summer.

Virtual And Augmented Reality Changing The Way Dentistry Is Learned And Performed At U Of U

Cool Science Radio speaks with Dr. Mark Durham from the University of Utah School of Dentistry. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in teaching and in dental practice will improve dental health across the globe as students are learning exacting procedures like root canals using VR long before they ever dive into the mouth of a real person. In fact, AR is are changing the way we can learn. We spoke with Dr. Durham last month about the revolutionary ways that dental students are learning.

Disturbance And Recovery

In 2015, ecologist Nalini Nadkarni fell 50 feet from the top of a tree. As she fought to regain her strength over the next year, Nalini realized that due to her earlier research on a theory she termed “disturbance and recovery,” she had the tools she needed to help her get well.

Uber wants to redefine employment. More than 50 labor groups are fighting back

A coalition of about 50 labor groups is asking congressional leaders to reject Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi’s proposal for a new legal category that would allow the company to keep treating its workers as independent contractors while affording them partial employee benefits.

Pockets of Rural America Are Less Vulnerable to Economic Fallout — For Now

Every part of the country will feel the economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis. But the small and isolated rural areas that lagged during the economic boom may fare better, relatively speaking, in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Scientists uncover a 60,000-year-old forest underwater and think its preserved trees may help pioneer new medicines

Nearly 60,000 years ago, as prehistoric humans just started venturing out of Africa, a forest of cypress trees grew on the banks of a river near the Gulf of Mexico. As the trees grew old, they fell and were buried under sediment. When the sea level rose, the remains of the forest were covered once again.

Transitions: Olin College of Engineering Names Next President; New Provost Selected at Hanover College

Nancy Songer, a professor and former dean of the School of Education at Drexel University, will become dean of the College of Education at the University of Utah on July 1.

Colleges Thinking Through COVID-19's Impact On Admissions

With online classes now the norm for most of the country’s schools and universities, students are adapting to learn in new ways. At the same time, many of the traditional benchmarks required in college applications — standardized testing and extracurricular activities — have largely been postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

South Korea’s broad coronavirus testing strategy could flatten curve in some US areas, expert says

Broad testing of people for the coronavirus as was done in South Korea could slow the spread of the disease in parts of the United States that have relatively few cases, an infectious diseases expert said.

Fed’s Quarles says Main Street lending program should be running in 2 or 3 weeks

“We are putting together the mechanisms for that credit to be distributed through the banks,” Quarles said during a webinar hosted by the University of Utah. “That’s probably two to three weeks away.”

Salt Lake County Library loans 3D printers to make face shields for healthcare workers

People across the state are finding creative ways to help healthcare staff who are low on PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). The County Library has stepped up by loaning more than a dozen 3D printers to the Univeristy of Utah’s Marriott and Eccles Health Sciences Libraries.

Small businesses struggle despite assistance

About 25 percent of hospitality businesses admit they may not survive the pandemic, according to a survey by Visit Salt Lake. “Cafe For U” isn’t just a business for Brandi Alhamdani, it’s a passion project. “We were proud of it. We worked really hard on it,” she said. The University of Utah student and mother quit her full-time job and opened the cafe on campus. That was Jan 2.

U of U medical students volunteer to collect PPE for healthcare workers

University of Utah medical students are volunteering their time to set up booths to collect personal protective equipment for Utah healthcare workers.

DIY face masks: How effective are they compared to surgical masks?

There are a lot of do it yourself videos online for making face masks, but the question is: will a homemade mask protect you as much as a surgical mask could?

Utahns adjust to life during coronavirus, turning parts of their homes into offices

Before the coronavirus, this was Brooke Hansen’s routine: Get her children — Jack, 7, and Eden, 5 — off to school, work at her office job as a corporate paralegal, pick up the kids and come back to their Midvale home, make dinner, get the kids to bed, do her law school homework, get some sleep, and then do it all again.

Robert Gehrke: An expert says Utah’s coronavirus peak may be months away. And that’s a good thing.

We’re all struggling to make sense of the surreal unfolding of the coronavirus pandemic and all of the news and numbers and nifty charts of curves and spikes we get bombarded with on an hourly basis.

COVID-19 pandemic has led to potential college football contingency plans, so what works best for Utah Utes?

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, bringing with it a complete, prolonged stoppage to sports in the United States, an increasingly-pertinent point of discussion is what is going to happen to the 2020 college football season.

‘We have all this capacity’ — why are fewer Utahns seeking COVID-19 testing?

A decline in coronavirus tests appears to be due to lower demand from patients, Utah health officials said on Wednesday, after new test results amounted to less than half of the state’s capacity for the second day in a row.

U of U, Intermountain researchers launch study of malaria drug’s use in coronavirus cases

Researchers with the state’s two largest medical groups — Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health — have embarked on twin clinical trials to investigate whether an anti-malaria drug helps in treating coronavirus patients.

Utah is allowing retired public employees in critical fields to return to work - but there’s a catch

Retired Salt Lake City police officer Mike Boyd recently applied for a position at the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, hoping to take advantage of Utah’s coronavirus outbreak-inspired suspension of a law that restricts retiring public employees from immediately returning to a government job.

Utah may let law school grads skip the bar exam because of the coronavirus

Recent law school graduates may be able to become licensed lawyers in Utah without having to pass the bar exam. The move is being cheered by the law schools, but some in the state’s legal community question this proposal, arguing that the big test helps weed out those who shouldn’t be in the profession.

Utahns show how to respond to the crisis of a lifetime

Pignanelli & Webb: The Utah Way. During the roaring economy we heard much about this mindset in our state. Some mock the suggestion that the Beehive State is actually different than other states. Others stand by it with fervent passion. Because your columnists are true believers, we offer our perspective on how our citizens and leaders once again are leading the country in the COVID-19 battle.

Herbert orders tighter surveillance at state borders, airport

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced new efforts on Wednesday “to protect the people of Utah and slow the spread of coronavirus in the state” by closely monitoring its borders as well as passengers who fly into Salt Lake City International Airport.

Does ‘border bias’ lull policymakers, people into thinking they’re safe from coronavirus?

Some policymakers are falling prey to what a pair of University of Utah professors call “border bias” as they make rules for slowing the spread of coronavirus in their states.

PBS Utah host Ted Capener signs off after 30-plus years at station

Ted Capener, host of PBS Utah’s “Civic Dialogue” and “Utah Conversations” since 2006, has signed off at the station.

New program connects Utah’s elderly and at-risk with people ready to help

As Hoang Ha was surfing through the community website nextdoor.com he noticed two trends. A number of his elderly and immunocompromised neighbors, concerned about going out in public, were looking for someone to do their grocery shopping for them — and a number of his young and healthy neighbors were asking how they could help.

Robert Garff remembered as 'remarkable' leader who 'cared deeply about people and education'

Iconic Utah businessman Robert Garff will be laid to rest in a private graveside service Friday afternoon, nearly two weeks after his March 29 death from complications of COVID-19.

Coronavirus drop out: Are online-only courses driving college students away?

Will coronavirus inspire students to drop out of school? The coronavirus outbreak has turned college campuses into ghost towns with only a few weeks left at most schools.