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AM News Brief: Bonneville Shoreline Trail Bill, Dixie Regional Name Change & Colorado Mask Mandate

Photo of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.
Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, and Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, introduced federal legislation Thursday to expand portions of the state's Bonneville Shoreline Trail. This story and more in the Friday morning news brief.

Friday morning, July 17, 2020

Southern Utah

San Juan County Proposes “Flexible” School Plan

School will likely look very different in the northern and southern regions of San Juan County this fall, given a stark split in parental preferences. The San Juan School District surveyed parents to come up with a reopening plan, which was approved by the school board on Thursday. Around 60% of parents in the southern region of the county said they prefer online learning, while over 70% in the north said they want school to resume in-person. Read the full story. — Kate Groetzinger

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Name Change For St. George Hospital

Officials with the Dixie Regional Medical Center announced Thursday they will change their name as of Jan. 1, 2021. The facility in St. George is part of Intermountain Healthcare and will soon be known as Intermountain St. George Hospital. In a press conference, hospital administrator Mitch Cloward said the name change has been in the works for months and that while the name Dixie is controversial, it has a positive meaning for many in the Southwestern Utah community. But Cloward said the hospital’s mission includes serving the 5 million tourists that visit the region annually and that all patients should feel welcome at the hospital. — Elaine Clark

Northern Utah

Salt Lake County Job Initiative

Salt Lake County is creating more than 125 short-term jobs, which includes positions that will help local health departments with contact tracing and quarantine and isolation operations. County Mayor Jenny Wilson made the announcement Thursday. She said the jobs are the first step to address the negative economic and health effects of COVID-19. Wilson said the county is already looking for resumes, and the positions will run until the end of the year. — Jessica Lowell

Expanding Bonneville Shoreline Trail

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, and Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, introduced federal legislation Thursday to expand portions of the state’s Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Right now, the trail is a little more than 100 miles along the bench formed by the ancient lake that once covered a good part of Northern Utah. The ultimate goal is for the Bonneville Shoreline Trail to stretch from the Idaho border to the town of Nephi in central Utah. Curtis and Romney’s bill would swap parcels of wilderness and forestry land to build more trail in Salt Lake and Utah counties. — Elaine Clark

New federal legislation proposed by Rep. John Curtis and Sen. Mitt Romney would expand the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in Salt Lake and Utah Counties.


Colorado Mandates Masks

Colorado is the latest state in the Mountain West to issue a mask requirement. It joins Nevada and New Mexico. Nationally, about half of U.S. states now require people to wear masks in public. Recent studies support the use of masks. That includes one that found hair stylists infected with the coronavirus did not sicken any of the 139 clients they served while symptomatic. Stylists and clients were all wearing masks. And a study in the journal Health Affairs, which found that states with mask mandates saw slower growth in COVID-19 cases. CDC director Robert Redfield said earlier this week that if everyone wore masks, the epidemic could be controlled in a matter of weeks. — Rae Ellen Bichell, Mountain West News Bureau

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