Take 2: Masks, lotteries, and Liz Cheney

Heidi Hatch, Greg Hughes and Maura Carabello are ready to de-brief after another week of news.

Gov. Spencer Cox: Masks can be ditched the last week of school: He said schools will still have the option to require masks during the last week, but the state will no longer mandate the rule.

Cox wants to give away millions to encourage more Utahns to get vaccinated: Is this legal and is it a good idea? The announcement comes a day after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine established a lottery system to give five people $1 million each as a vaccination incentive.

“There is no amount of money that is too much to help us get an extra 5% or 10% of people vaccinated,” Cox said.

CDC says vaccinated can toss the mask: Why Now? In a move to send the country back toward pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday eased indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to safely stop wearing masks inside in most places.

The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.

Liz Cheney voted out of House leadership: Rep. Blake Moore voted to keep her, Owens did not vote, Curtis and Stewart voted for change.

Sen. Mitt Romney backed Cheney, Lee would not weigh in on the issue because it was in the House.

Plus, Heidi’s whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C. for an exclusive sit down with Utah’s Senators, in the same room at the same time. Watch 2 News at 10 on Thursday, May 20.

How dads can bond with baby

Bonding with a new baby is critical. But when the baby’s bond with the mother is very strong, dads may feel as if they are less important in the baby’s life.

Jade Elliott spoke with Dr. Neal Davis, pediatrician and medical director of pediatric community-based care for Intermountain Healthcare, on this episode of the Baby Your Baby Podcast. Dr. Davis said a dad’s interaction with newborns and children as they grow up is critical in child development.

The strongest bonds start with a father’s interactions with the mother, Dr. Davis said.

“This cannot be overstated: The most fundamental way that dads can create that early bond with their babies is to be a supportive, healthy partner for the mother,” he said. “The relationship with the mother over time is connected to a dad’s ability to engage positively with the child.”

Data show that dads bring a different approach to interactions, from their voices to their choices of play, that help babies develop and grow, Dr. Davis said.

Yet some dads encounter barriers to engaging with their child. Mental wellness can be a challenge, be it depression – experienced before or after the birth of a child – lack of sleep, or financial stresses. Some infants and toddlers may cry if they’re not with their mother, which can be discouraging.

It’s important to recognize that children go through different phases and attachments, Dr. Davis said. “Dads staying engaged, nurturing, and active with children matters, because phases and attachments change.”

Dr. Davis provides these tips to help new dads bond with baby:

-Put the phone down! Texting, talking, or scrolling disrupts meaningful interactions with children.
-Go outside, take a walk, and explore the bigger world together. Look at trees, smell flowers, sit on the grass. This could ease the initial emotional reaction of the child’s attachment to mom.
-Attend well-child and medical appointments.
-Understand the child’s development phases, and be flexible. For young children, dads can make funny faces, animal sounds, or sing; turn on music and dance; wrestle or play chase.
-Read books together. This could mean finding a tiger in a picture book, roaring together and chasing each other around like tigers.
-Be patient, be engaged and be yourself.

“Dads are different than moms, they’re going to parent differently than moms, and that can be very good for the child to pick up on nuances from a different parent,” Dr. Davis said. “There are no perfect parents, and we’re all trying and engaging with children the best that we can. Just keep on going.”

Click here to listen to our dads and postpartum depression podcast mentioned in this episode.

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.

Take 2 Podcast: Lingering COVID-19 restrictions, transgender ruling in the Utah Supreme Court and the booing of Mitt Romney

Host Heidi Hatch welcome guests Greg Hughes and Maura Carabello, from different sides of the political spectrum to talk about the top issues.

This week on the Take 2 Podcast, they did into Utah’s COVID-19 restrictions that are largely gone, except masks in K – 12 schools with a look at parents protesting at a school board meeting demanding an end to the mandate in schools.

As part of the discussion, Utah businesses are deciding the next best step. Hale Centre Theater welcomes masks but does not require them while the Bayou Bar won’t let you in unless you have a vaccine card. A bar across the street is going the opposite direction. No masks, everyone welcome.

Also part of the discussion:

  • Utah Supreme Court Ruling: The Utah Supreme Court has issued a ruling about transgender rights. In a 4-1 decision, the Court ordered judges statewide to grant “gender marker” changes to transgender individuals.
  • FLOTUS visits Utah: Dr. Jill Biden stopped in Utah Wednesday to push the President’s education goals.
  • GOP Convention is history: Romney was booed but not censured. “You can boo all you like,” Romney said. “I’ve been a Republican all of my life. My dad was the governor of Michigan and I was the Republican nominee for president in 2012.”
  • 798-711 Censure vote fails
  • New leadership: Carson Jorgensen and Jordan Hess were elected by state delegates as chair and vice chair of the Utah GOP. Jorgensen is a sixth-generation sheep rancher from Mount Pleasant- who also runs a bridle business and farms crops.
  • “I don’t think we should make it about people. Too often politics becomes about one person, we don’t like that person, we don’t like their attitude, and then we’re turned off towards them. I’m more looking towards policy right now. We need to rally around policy, because that’s something we can all get behind regardless of personality. And that is a big problem inside of the party right now.”
  • Former Gov. Gary Herbert has a new job: Herbert announced he’s joining the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce as its new executive chairman.

Avoiding toxic substances during pregnancy

When you find out you’re pregnant, it seems to change everything. Suddenly you’re thinking not just about yourself, but about the baby you’re carrying. You may have questions about what substances or environmental exposures may be harmful to you or your baby while you’re pregnant.

There’s the usual medical advice about avoiding alcohol or illegal or prescription drugs when you’re pregnant. Plus, it seems many people are much more aware of their environment these days and the products they use. If you’re pregnant, that adds an additional layer of wondering what over the counter medications are safe to use, and if chemicals or poor air quality could cause harm to you or your baby.

Jade Elliott spoke with Virginia Homewood, an OB/Gyn with Intermountain Healthcare on this episode of the Baby Your Baby Podcast to explain some of the substances to avoid, some obvious and some you may not be as familiar with.

Why is it important to avoid toxic substances when you’re pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant? Is it to protect you or the baby?

When we think about toxic exposures during pregnancy, some things can be somewhat harmful to mom, but often we’re typically more concerned about the effect of the exposures on the developing fetus.

What are the most important substances to avoid when you’re pregnant?

Alcoholic beverages – We don’t know if there’s a safe level you can consume when you’re pregnant, so the best advice is to not consume any. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Drinking alcohol has been linked to severe developmental issues, learning difficulties, attention deficit disorders, and other developmental problems that don’t appear until later in a baby’s life.

Illegal Drugs – There are so many types of illegal drugs and the effects are varied depending on the drug. With narcotics, we see addiction in the baby. Then the baby suffers from withdrawal symptoms. It can cause neurodevelopmental problems as well. Other drugs affect the pregnancy and can cause complications for the mother, like high blood pressure or preterm labor.

Smoking – Smoking cigarettes can increase your chance of miscarriage or preterm labor. It also can affect fetal growth, and increases the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. Vaping during pregnancy would also be harmful, since e-cigarettes contain nicotine. E-cigarettes are less-regulated than regular cigarettes and that means the amount of nicotine or other substances in them is harder to determine.

What other toxins should be avoided during pregnancy?

Mercury – Pregnant women should limit mercury, which is found in some fish. Mercury affects neurodevelopment and the brain of the developing fetus. Limit your choices to low-mercury fish. Fish is an excellent source of lean protein and the fish oil found in fish is especially healthy, so it’s important to find the balance. A good goal is to eat two servings of low mercury fish per week. Lake fish and shellfish are safe to eat.

Avoid these types of fish if you’re pregnant:

King mackerel
Orange roughy
Tilefish (from Gulf of Mexico)
Big eye tuna
Fish with lowest levels of mercury include:
Canned tuna,
Trout (freshwater)
For more information see the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommendations for pregnant women about fish.

Hair and nail salons

We don’t know if the chemicals to color or perm your hair or do your nails are harmful or not. If you can smell it, it’s probably not good. Skip the salon temporarily or make sure the area is well-ventilated.

The best strategy is to adopt the mindset that fewer exposures is better. Reduce your exposure to things that are harmful.

What toxic exposures might there be in your own home?

Chemicals used in plastics such as phthalates. BPA is example. BPA has been removed from most baby products, but it’s replaced with other BPP or other similar bisphenol molecules.

Be aware of plastics and use them safely. Don’t reuse disposable plastic bottles. Don’t re-heat food in the microwave in plastic, like Tupperware or plastic wrap. Heat food in a dish or in glass. Cover the dish with waxed paper or a paper plate. The plastics leach into the food. Especially avoid plastics marked #7 and #3.

Toxins in food or personal care products

Read packages and labels and understand what is in your food or beauty products. Organic food costs more, but is a good option if you’re concerned about pesticides. The Environmental Working Group has a list of produce that rates those highest in pesticides, called The Dirty dozen as well as a list of produce with low amounts of pesticides, called The Clean 15. They also have a page called Skin Deep that has information about the ingredients in personal care products.

Eating and preparing food

Pregnant women should make sure meats are cooked all the way through before eating. Deli-meats, need to be heated and not eaten cold. And if you’re pregnant, only eat dairy products that are pasteurized.

Keep your house dust free. Mop your floors. Use a HEPA filter on vacuum. This will help reduce toxins in your home.

Opt for natural cleaning products. You can create your own with vinegar. You can soak citrus fruit in it for a better scent. A lot of cleaners are not studied in pregnant women, so we just don’t know if they’re safe. When you are using cleaning products, keep the room well-ventilated.

Avoid flame retardants. Try to buy infant clothing without flame retardants, because they contain toxins. Flame retardants are common in pajamas, costumes, and furniture.

Are there certain over the counter medications that should be avoided during pregnancy?

Any medication has a potential for harm during pregnancy. It’s best to not take anything before you talk to your doctor or midwife. They can help you know if over the counter medications are safe and when it is safe to take them. They can also help review any prescription medications you have. For pain relief, Tylenol is preferred over Advil or aspirin for pregnant women.

Are there certain prescription medications that should be avoided?

Medications that should not be taken when you’re thinking of getting pregnant or during pregnancy would include the acne medication Accutane, ace inhibitors, and some blood pressure or diabetes medications.

If you’re taking medication and thinking of getting pregnant go in for a check-up. Many women have put off going to the doctor during the pandemic, but Intermountain has many safety protocols in place to protect you and your provider from COVID-19.

Does it matter what trimester you’re in as far as reducing exposure to environmental toxins or medications?

Generally, during the first trimester, in the early development stages, is when your baby is most at risk of being affected by exposures. But it varies, from medication to medication. Some are a concern later in pregnancy.

What about toxic exposures in the workplace?

Let your doctor or midwife know about your work environment. You’ll want to minimize your exposure if you work with cleaners or chemicals, whether you work in a factory, warehouse, dry cleaners, salon or in healthcare.

Where can women go for more information? Talk with your provider about any medications you’re taking or substances you’re concerned about.

Another great resource is Mother to Baby, the nation’s leading authority and most trusted source of evidence-based information on the safety of medications and other exposures during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. It’s a no-cost information service available to mothers, health professionals, and the general public via chat, text, phone, and email in both English and Spanish. It’s recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Women’s Health.

The phone number for Mother to Baby is 1-866.626.6847.

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.

Talkin Jazz podcast: Locke on the NBA play-in: why he loves it

The Radio Voice of the Utah Jazz, David Locke, joins Dave Fox for this week’s edition of the Talkin Jazz podcast. It’s a packed show with topics including:

  • Is the team finding a comfort level while adjusting to playing without Mitchell & Conley?
  • How the Spurs have played the Jazz two completely different ways, and still failed.
  • The NBA Play-in plan has many players including LeBron unhappy, especially if they’re on a team that could be in it. Locke explains why it’s a great thing in his opinion
  • The always popular and amazing “Matty Komma’s Top 5 NBA plays of the week”

Check out the Talkin Jazz podcast with Dave Fox and the Radio Voice of the Utah Jazz, David Locke.

Take 2: Censuring Romney, Utah’s crazy growth, and ‘Show Up Utah’

What Utah political news did you miss this week? Heidi Hatch, Greg Hughes, and Maura Carabello are back to fill you in.
The rundown:
Utah Republican Party convention this Saturday includes a vote to censure Mitt Romney.
Where is Utah at with redistricting?
Utah is the fastest-growing state, according to 2020 Census data. What does that mean for the future?
First Lady Abby Cox launches her “Show Up Utah” initiative to combat what she’s calling an “empathy crisis.”
Joe Biden celebrates 100 days in office, but Utah Republicans don’t appear to be celebrating with him.

Air pollution and pregnancy: Why it’s important to reduce your exposure

If you’re pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant have you ever wondered if air pollution might have an effect on your unborn baby?

Jade Elliott spoke with Virginia Homewood, an OB/Gyn with Intermountain Healthcare, on this episode of the Baby Your Baby Podcast to provide some important tips to help you reduce your exposure to air pollution if you’re pregnant.

Why can air pollution be harmful if you’re pregnant?

Studies have shown that air pollution can increase your risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It may also lead to a slightly lower rate of fetal growth. High air pollution levels can have an effect even during the time when you conceive.

So, you may want to take that into consideration if you’re planning to get pregnant.

Why is the Wasatch Front prone to air pollution?

Salt Lake City and the nearby cities along the Wasatch Front are surrounded by mountains and have high elevations, and these factors can lead to more bad air days, especially in the winter when cold air becomes trapped in the valley and we experience temperature inversions, where it is warmer at high elevations in the mountains than at lower elevations in the valley.

Summer can be a bad time for air as well. Summer wildfires, fireworks and high temperatures all play a role in increasing the amount of summer air pollution. And of course, a big source of air pollution any time of year is automobile exhaust.

Five simple things you can do to avoid outdoor air pollution

1. Check your local daily air quality at air.utah.gov

2. Don’t exercise outside on high pollution days

3. Don’t exercise outside at peak traffic times like rush hour

4. Don’t let your car idle

5. Use the recirculation setting in your car, to reduce the amount of exhaust fumes you breathe.

Indoor air pollution can also be a problem

Many people don’t realize air pollution can occur indoors. Outdoor air pollution is a major contributor to indoor air pollution. But you can take steps to help reduce the amount of fine particulate pollution particles in your home.

Seven things you can do to avoid indoor air pollution

1. Make sure you change your furnace filter regularly

2. Use a portable indoor HEPA air filter in the room you use most

3. Use HEPA air filters with a MERV rating of 13-16

4. Do use an exhaust fan in the kitchen

5. Don’t use a wood burning fireplace or burn candles or incense

6. Don’t allow smoking inside the home or nearby

7. Don’t spray volatile chemicals or cleaners inside your home

Recommended air filters – understanding the rating system

A High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) filter with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of 13-16 is most effective at removing the smallest pollution particles. HEPA filters remove more than 99 percent of particulates. (These should not be confused with air purifiers that use UV light or electrostatic charges to kill viruses or bacteria).

HEPA filter MERV ratings range from 1 to 16. A low MERV rating (1 to 4) means the filter only traps large particles such as dust. A high MERV rating (13 to 16) means that particles less than 1 micron are removed, such as the PM2.5 particles in outdoor air pollution that cause poor health outcomes. However, HEPA filters do not remove radon or ozone, which can also be harmful to the lungs. For more information visit: https://www.nafahq.org/understanding-merv/.

An indoor air filter can help reduce the pollution particles in a room in your home. Kitchens and rooms with wood burning fireplaces can also be a major source of dirty air. Place it one of those areas or where you spend most of your time. You could move it to your bedroom at night.

How to improve overall air quality

It takes a whole community to improve air quality. We are all contributing to and affected by air pollution, whether we are young or old or have heart or lung disease or not. The solutions to better air quality must be addressed by all of us as a community. If we don’t take action, we will continue to see increased health costs and lower quality of life in our communities.

For more information visit intermountainhealthcare.org

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.

Weekly Huddle Podcast Talkin’ Jazz with Kristen Kenney: Why the Suns are so tough for the Jazz

Utah Jazz Reporter Kristen Kenney joins us for this weeks edition of the Talkin Jazz podcast. And while the team hast lost 2 in a row, there are plenty of positives to build on. Topics include the on court relationship between Rudy Gobert & Mike Conley, Bogey on an 8 game tear with the stats to back it up, and Joe Ingles: No matter the situation he is always looking to the next play, and getting better with age.

Plus in this weeks Jazz bites Coach Quin Snyder on his level of concern. Also the always entertaining NBA top 5 plays of the week.

Check out the latest Talkin’ Jazz podcast here!

Take 2 Podcast: Utah vaccines and herd immunity, ranked choice voting and free speech on social media

Host Heidi Hatch hosts guests Maura Carabello from the Exoro Group and state auditor John Dougal to talk about a wide range of political news this week including the trail of Derek Chauvin, the former officer now convicted of killing George Floyd.


With the demand for vaccines against COVID-19 in Utah now slowing or falling behind supply, some have wondered if the state can reach herd immunity, especially in a state with so many children. Are people vaccine hesitant? Is the pause in Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine making people nervous?

There has been no link made but a woman in Oregon died this week after getting a vaccine. Should herd immunity include those who have already tested positive, along with those who had the virus but were never tested? https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/lasting-immunity-found-after-recovery-covid-19


Salt Lake City voted 6 to 1 in favor of ranked choice voting during the November municipal election and North Logan is considering it too while Draper will move to it this fall.


Utah Senate President Stuart Adams wants to rein in the power of social media companies to decide what can or cannot be posted. He is the newly elected president of the American Legislative Exchange Council, called ALEC. It is a conservative group that proposes legislation.


The Utah Legislature created a privacy commission but what do the new privacy officers do? MORE: kutv.com/news/local/banjo-halts-data-collection-in-utah-after-reports-of-ceos-neo-nazi-past

What if my pap smear is abnormal?

If you’re over age 21 and have had a well-woman exam, you’ve probably had a pap smear. It’s a quick test, and can be briefly uncomfortable, but what does it check for and how often should you get one?

Jade Elliott spoke with Martie Nightingale, a certified nurse-midwife with Intermountain Healthcare, to answer your questions about pap smears, why they’re important and what it means if your test comes back abnormal.

What is a pap smear and what does it check for?

A pap smear is a test that detects precancerous changes on the cervix. The cervix is the lowest part of the uterus, located inside the vagina. A virus called the human papillomavirus or HPV, often causes cervical cancer. HPV can be passed during sexual contact.

A pap smear requires your provider to place a speculum into the vagina to view the cervix, then scrape away cells from the cervix using a brush. Once removed, the cells are tested for abnormal changes.

Why is it important to get a pap smear?

Getting regular pap smears allows these precancerous changes to be detected and treated before it turns into cervical cancer.

Women with early cervical cancers usually have no symptoms.

Symptoms of cervical cancer often do not begin until the cancer is growing quickly and begins to spread to other body parts. When this happens, the most common symptoms are:

Abnormal vaginal bleeding
Unusual vaginal discharge
Pain during intercourse

What to know before your appointment?

Schedule your pap smear for a day when you are not having heavy period bleeding. If you must go during your period, avoid putting anything in your vagina for at least 24 hours before your appointment.
Avoid douching.
Abstain from sexual intercourse for one to two days before your Pap smear.

At what age should you get your first pap smear? How often should you get a pap smear?

Current recommendations for cervical cancer screening include pap testing every three years beginning at age 21, and beginning at age 30 a pap test with HPV testing (co-testing), every five years, or pap testing alone every three years. Women with HIV or a weakened immune system may require more frequent or additional testing.

What does it mean if your pap smear comes back abnormal?

Most abnormal test results don’t mean you have cancer. An abnormal pap can result from temporary changes like a vaginal infection, or reactive or repairing cells that may need to be monitored a bit more frequently.

What would be the next steps if it’s abnormal?

Recommended next steps depend on your age, type and severity of abnormality, and previous history, and may include additional testing for high-risk HPV, repeat testing in one year, or a colposcopy exam with cervical biopsy.

Where can women go for more information?

American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG) is a great resource for patient information.

Cervical Cancer Screening

Abnormal Pap Test results

The Baby Your Baby program provides many resources for all pregnant women and new moms in Utah. There is also expert advice from the Utah Department of Health and Intermountain Healthcare that air each week on KUTV 2News.