Utah’s new pandemic strategy, constitutional amendments explained, and Sen. Romney‘s lament on the state of political discourse

Declaring Utah’s continuing surge of coronavirus cases “unacceptable,” Gov. Gary Herbert announced the state will abandon its previous color codes for a new strategy that ties restrictions to local case numbers and testing rates. Starting Tuesday, each county will receive a weekly rating of high, moderate or low “level of transmission,” depending on its rate of new cases and the percent of its tests that are positive. The state’s coronavirus cases continue to increase at a high rate, setting records for people hospitalized with the disease.

Utah voters will begin receiving ballots in the mail this week as election officials make two special requests: Please vote early, and vote by mail instead of waiting to come to an in-person election center on Election Day Nov. 3. By Utah law, ballots must be postmarked by the day before Election Day, or Nov. 2 this year, to be valid.

And Sen. Mitt Romney says he can’t stay quiet anymore in a statement scolding President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others. The 2012 GOP presidential nominee is asking for everyone to “tone it down,” and politics in the upcoming election, he says, has become “a vile, vituperative, hate-filled morass.”

At 9 a.m. on Friday, Salt Lake Tribune government and politics editor Dan Harrie, reporter Erin Alberty and news columnist Robert Gehrke join KCPW’s Roger McDonough to talk about the week’s top stories. Every Friday at 9 a.m., stream “Behind the Headlines” at kcpw.org, or tune in to KCPW 88.3 FM or Utah Public Radio for the broadcast. Join the live conversation by calling (801) 355-TALK.

 

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