Church Utah Area Presidency Urges Latter-day Saints To Wear Face Masks
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has asked members of the Church to wear face masks when in public after the state reported a record-high number of new coronavirus cases.
The Utah Area Presidency, composed of Elders Craig C. Christensen, Randy D. Funk and Walter F. González, sent the letter to the state on Friday.
“A growing chorus of medical authorities has confirmed that the simple wearing of a face covering when in public and when social distancing is not possible will significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19. This is true both indoors and outdoors,” they said. “Now we ask all Latter-day Saints in the Utah Area to be good citizens by wearing face coverings when in public. Doing so will help promote the health and general welfare of all.”
Health officials reported 867 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, and leaders from Utah’s health care systems held a press conference, urging Utahns to wear face masks.
“We are getting close to a capacity of patients that we’ve not seen or experienced before across our state and across our health systems,” said Dr. Mark Briesacher, chief physician executive at Intermountain Healthcare.
Gov. Gary Hebert said state officials will consider implementing “stronger measures, including a mask mandate,” if Utah does not see a quick drop in new COVID-19 cases.
The full letter is below:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
We are in the midst of a global pandemic unlike any the world has experienced in more than a century. The effects of this escalating health crisis are being felt everywhere, with incidents of COVID-19 infection rising dramatically especially in the United States, including in Utah. Latter-day Saints are not immune. Just today, more than 800 new infections were reported in our state.
A growing chorus of medical authorities has confirmed that the simple wearing of a face covering when in public and when social distancing is not possible will significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19. This is true both indoors and outdoors.
We note with appreciation the care exhibited by our members in returning to sacrament meetings wearing face masks. Now we ask all Latter-day Saints in the Utah Area to be good citizens by wearing face coverings when in public. Doing so will help promote the health and general welfare of all.
We are most grateful for all you do to minister to one another and to your neighbors. Please join with us now in common purpose for the blessing and benefit of all.
Elder Craig C. Christensen
Elder Randy D. Funk
Elder Walter F. González
Utah Area Presidency
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