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PM News Brief: Rental Assistance, Cost Of Greenhouse Gases & Vaccine Distribution Expanding

A photo of small bottles labeled 'COVID-19 Vaccine' and a needle.
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Utah’s Department of Health announced Monday they are partnering with private healthcare providers to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. This story and more in Monday evening's news brief.

Monday evening, March 1, 2021

State

Rental Assistance Applications Closed Until March 15

Applications for pandemic rental assistance will not be available in Utah for the next two weeks. The state’s Department of Workforce Services said the pause is to transition over to a different system that’s in line with federal guidelines. The new rules were released in February. Starting March 15, renters will be able to apply for funds through a single state-run online portal at rentrelief.utah.gov. Until now, people have had to go through local agencies. To get assistance, renters must qualify for unemployment, have reduced income and earn less than the median income of their area. Relief money can be used for current and past due rent and utilities. — Caroline Ballard

Private Healthcare Providers To Help Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines

Utah’s Department of Health announced Monday they are partnering with private healthcare providers to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. Intermountain, University of Utah and Nomi Health will all help administer first and second doses. UDOH said they are starting to receive more vaccines than they have the capacity to handle. Health officials announced 257 new cases of COVID-19 Monday. About 5% of tests are coming back positive. Salt Lake City’s mayor and council planned to honor COVID victims and survivors Monday at 6:30 p.m. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Northern Utah

Black Lives Matter Utah Unveils Black History Museum Bus

Black Lives Matter Utah unveiled its Black History Museum Bus over the weekend — a new exhibit at the Leonardo Museum. The installation is a repurposed school bus that's been decorated with murals of historic African American artists, activists and leaders. BLM Utah said soon, the bus will travel to schools around the state to educate students about Black history. The bus is just the first phase. Next, the group plans to build a brick and mortar museum. — Ivana Martinez

Region/Nation

Biden Administration Calculating Cost Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Biden administration announced Friday it was overhauling how it calculates the economic toll of greenhouse gas emissions. It’s called the social cost of carbon. It’s a way for government officials to put a hard number on the financial damages caused by pumping one ton of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Under the Trump administration, that cost was really low — just $8 a ton. Now the Biden administration has raised it six times that to $51 a ton. — Nate Hegyi, Mountain West News Bureau

Young Adults Lost The Most Money To Scams In 2020

While senior citizens are often warned to beware of fraud, a report from the Better Business Bureau shows young people are also getting scammed in a big way. Adults aged 18 to 24 lost the most money on average to scams last year. They were also more likely than other age groups to lose money to scams in general. One Washington County resident was scammed out of $90 trying to purchase lighting strips. She was given a fake tracking number but eventually got her money back — which is rare. The bureau said most consumers shifted to online shopping due to the pandemic. That opened up more opportunities for scammers to take advantage. — Ross Terrell