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PM News Brief: Mammogram Guidelines, St. George Coin Flip Gaffe & Public Education Funding

Photo of an empty classroom
iStock.com / Ridofranz
Public education in Utah is expected to be in good shape financially next year. This story and more in Tuesday evening's news brief.

Tuesday evening, February 9, 2021

State

Women Getting COVID-19 Vaccine Should Wait To Get Mammograms

Medical experts said women should wait four to six weeks after their second COVID-19 vaccine before getting a mammogram. The vaccine can lead to temporary swelling of the lymph nodes. That inflammation is usually a sign that more tests are needed for breast cancer. Doctors want that swelling to go down before doing a mammogram. Brett Parkinson, medical director of Intermountain Healthcare’s Breast Care Center, said this isn’t an excuse to skip the exam though. “Breast cancer does not stop because of the pandemic or because of the vaccine,” Parkinson said. “Postponing it by a month or two would not be that impactful, but postponing it by a year really could be.” He said breast cancer kills between 40,000 and 50,000 women a year. Studies have shown that mammograms decrease the death rate. — Elaine Clark

State Lawmakers Ask For About $80 Million In Public Education Funding

Public education in Utah is expected to be in good shape financially next year. Lawmakers in a public education appropriations committee Tuesday passed requests for additional increases. They’re asking for over $54 million to fund ongoing services like student transportation and for bonuses for teachers in high poverty schools. They’re also asking for $26 million in one-time expenses, to help with things like expanding the state’s online education program. Lawmakers have already passed what they call a historic increase in the education base budget. — Jon Reed

Utah Department Of Health Names New Deputy Director

The Utah Department of Health announced a new deputy director Tuesday. Dr. Michelle Hofmann will be one of two deputy directors at the agency. The other is Heather Borksi. Hofmann started at UDOH in August and led its COVID-19 response strategy at long-term care facilities. She will replace Dr. Joseph Miner, who recently retired. — Caroline Ballard

Three Consecutive Days Of Fewer Than 1,000 COVID-19 Cases

For the third day in a row, Utah health officials have announced fewer than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases. Tuesday marks an increase of 918 cases. The week-long average of new cases has dropped to about 1,100. It was nearly 1,400 a week ago. Despite the smaller number of cases, 10 more people died from the disease — nine of them were 65 or older. — Ross Terrell

Southern Utah

Moab Working To Conserve Water After Release Of Study

The City of Moab is planning to implement water conservation measures in the coming months. The move is based on a study that found the Moab Valley may hold less water than previously thought. They also found the aquifer that provides the city’s drinking water is probably at its limit. Kalen Jones is on the Moab City Council. It recently directed staff to develop water conservation measures. He said he’s concerned about the new findings, but it could be worse because Moab still has the opportunity to manage its water well. Read the full story. Kate Groetzinger, Bluff

St. George Has To Re-Pick Council Member After Coin Flip Gaffe

On Monday the St. George City Council appointed a new member by flipping a coin but that was a mistake. Instead of flipping a coin when an applicant doesn’t get a majority vote, Utah state code requires the mayor to weigh in. City officials sent a press release Tuesday saying the council will reconvene Wednesday afternoon to “correct procedural issues” with the appointment. — Lexi Peery, St. George

Region/Nation

More Broadband Could Be Coming To Rural Areas Thanks To SpaceX

The Federal Communications Commission announced recently it may award nearly $900 million in subsidies to the company SpaceX. The money will be used to help fund a project beaming high-speed internet from satellites to rural areas across the country and in our region. However, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association wants the FCC to take a hard second look as to whether SpaceX can actually deliver. The group which represents some small internet providers argue that SpaceX’s technology is not yet feasible. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau