CORONAVIRUS

Governor: Mandate Issued For Face Masks In K-12 Schools Statewide

Jul 9, 2020, 1:02 PM | Updated: 5:56 pm

Gov. Gary Herbert conducts a press briefing while wearing a face mask on April 7, 2020....

Gov. Gary Herbert conducts a press briefing while wearing a face mask on April 7, 2020.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has issued a mandate requiring all students, faculty, staff and visitors of the state’s K-12 schools to wear face masks in schools and buses.

He stopped short of issuing an order that would require face masks for everyone.

School systems across the state have begun announcing plans for re-opening in the fall. Some have recommended face masks for students, but haven’t required them, causing some concern among parents and teachers.

Utah has seen a sharp increase in coronavirus cases since Memorial Day – around two weeks after the state moved from a “moderate” risk or spread to a “low” risk response.

The Utah Department of Health reported an increase of 601 positive coronavirus cases and 4 more deaths Thursday, just one day after the state reported a daily record increase of 722 cases.

LIVE: Gov. Gary Herbert and state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn are holding a press conference with updates on the state's efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Thursday, July 9, 2020

Herbert said Utahns must recommit to wearing masks in public as well as social distancing, staying home while sick and washing hands.

“Let’s see if we can’t roll up our sleeves and do the right thing for the right reasons: we care about each other. We’ve demonstrated that in times past. We need to have that same kind of caring today,” Herbert said.

Utah Hospital Association President and CEO, Greg Bell, said Wednesday that wearing face masks was the only sure way to slow the spread of the coronavirus and keep the economy open.

Bell said the current trend of rapidly increasing new cases is close to overwhelming Utah hospitals.

“Mostly we are just very alarmed about the trend, It’s an unsustainable trend and the projection just shows that by the end of the month, we are going to be in trouble,” he said.

Utah Senate President J. Stuart Adams issued a statement Wednesday saying he did not support a statewide face mask order.

“Mandating masks raises questions of enforcement and punishment. As legislators, we are working to strike a balance between policies that protect public health and citizens’ rights. Let us rise to the occasion and do what we can, proudly and willingly. I am asking you to help out by wearing a mask voluntarily,” the statement read.

Brad Wilson, Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives, issued a similarly worded statement.

“I believe it’s prudent to stop short of issuing a statewide government mandate, because doing so would apply the same policy to our most heavily populated areas as our rural areas and areas with different rates of infection,” he said. “Local officials are better positioned to make data driven decisions regarding face masks that are tailored to their communities.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Coronavirus

FILE: Former Utah Jazz John Stockton reacts during a 76-70 Wichita State win over the Gonzaga Bulld...

Michael Houck

Former Utah Jazz star John Stockton sues Washington medical director about COVID misinformation policy

Former Utah Jazz superstar John Stockton has filed a federal lawsuit against Washington officials on First Amendment violations, arguing the state's policy of COVID-19 misinformation is unconstitutional.

1 month ago

Deer Creek Reservoir...

Alex Cabrero

State parks expecting another record visitation year, hiring more workers

It didn't matter how cold or snowy it was at Deer Creek State Park Friday afternoon. Nothing was going to stop Leonard Sawyer from taking his boat out to do a little fishing.

2 months ago

FILE —  Respiratory virus illness activity continues to increase across the US.
(Joe Burbank/Orl...

Emma Benson

‘Not viruses to mess around with’: Experts urge caution during ongoing ‘tripledemic’

Experts say though not as severe as last year, this winter we're seeing another "tripledemic" – rising cases of COVID-19, flu and RSV in Utah.

3 months ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS...

Emma Benson

‘The ICUs are full:’ Keep yourself and others healthy this holiday

It's time for holiday gatherings, but with more people around us comes a greater risk of getting sick.

4 months ago

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.

4 months ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS...

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.

5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

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.

Governor: Mandate Issued For Face Masks In K-12 Schools Statewide