Governor OKs Face Mask Requirements In Salt Lake, Summit Counties

Jun 25, 2020, 11:39 PM | Updated: 11:42 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Utah’s governor cleared the way Thursday for mask requirements in Salt Lake County and Summit County, as local leaders and health officials sought more aggressive steps to counter the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

State officials confirmed Thursday evening that Gov. Gary Herbert had approved requests from the two counties to implement a mask requirement for community gatherings as well as public places such as shops, businesses and restaurants while waiting to be seated.

“We’re at a critical juncture and I really believe this will make a difference,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “I’m alarmed about the rising cases here in this state, but throughout the nation. We had all hoped that we were on the right path.”

Wilson said the requirement would go into effect in Salt Lake County Friday night at midnight.

“We are hoping that more and more individuals as a result of this being an order will take it seriously,” said Salt Lake County Health Department executive director Gary Edwards.

Utah announced 590 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, and Summit County’s request to the state noted that the “current rolling seven-day average of new cases continues to be greater than 400.”

“That is 3.5 times higher than the current rate in Colorado,” the letter stated.

Summit County Council Chair Doug Clyde said the county initially saw success in containing the virus with its stay-at-home order issued in March.

“Once things began to open back up again, it became evident that absent protections than what the governor had originally set out, the virus rate was going to climb dramatically,” Clyde said. “We’re just seeing it roll into another state or stage of infection which is becoming far more numerous now that we’ve reopened.”

Clyde said he hoped Utahns would see the utility of masks and not the politics.

“The purpose of wearing masks is to protect our economy and to protect our citizens and hopefully find our way through this virus so that we can manage it and at the same time remain open,” Clyde said.

On the same evening that the mask requirements gained approval from the governor, demonstrators gathered at the Utah State Capitol to rally against COVID-19 restrictions.

“Anytime you’re talking about taking away individual liberties, it needs to be taken very seriously,” said Anna Doane.

Bobette Jones underscored the importance of businesses staying open and society continuing to function in spite of the potential health risks associated with the novel coronavirus.

“I have asthma, I’m always at risk of getting things like the flu, pneumonia, whatever,” Jones said. “I think we just need to live our life.”

KSL 5 TV Live


Julianna Preece goes through the mountain of medical documents she's acquired for her health condit...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Herriman couple is suing CVS, says 5x Covid vaccine dose mistake caused health problems

A couple is suing a Utah CVS vaccination clinic, saying a nurse’s mistake led to the wife receiving five times the normal COVID-19 vaccine dose and caused serious health issues she’s still dealing with today.

9 days ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests indicating a positive result are photographed in New York, April...

Associated Press

More free COVID-19 tests from the government are available for home delivery through the mail

Americans can order more free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery.

20 days ago

FILE - Doses of the anti-viral drug Paxlovid are displayed in New York, Aug. 1, 2022. The COVID-19 ...

Amanda Seitz, Associated Press

COVID-19 treatments to enter the market with a hefty price tag

The COVID-19 treatments millions of have taken for free from the federal government will enter the private market next week with a hefty price tag.

1 month ago

Toddlers dance during play time at Living Water Child Care and Learning Center as center director J...

Associated Press

Child care programs just lost thousands of federal dollars. Families, providers scramble to cope

After two years of receiving federal subsidies, 220,000 child care programs across the country were cut off from funding Saturday Utah

2 months ago

Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Assembly, right, announces the winner of the 2023 Nobel Pri...

David Keyton and Mike Corder

Nobel in medicine goes to 2 scientists whose work enabled creation of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19

Two scientists have won the Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries that enabled the development of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 and could be used in the future to create other shots.

2 months ago

child in doctor's office...

Mike Anderson

Flu, COVID cases expected to rise in Utah

The number of COVID-19 diagnoses continues to stay above what we saw over the summer but now some doctors are starting to see early signs of the flu as well.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Governor OKs Face Mask Requirements In Salt Lake, Summit Counties