Utah County Commission Meeting Goes Viral After Maskless Protesters Pack Room

Jul 16, 2020, 10:09 AM | Updated: 11:26 am
Anti-mask protesters fill a Utah County Commission meeting on July 15, 2020 (Photo: Utah County Com...
Anti-mask protesters fill a Utah County Commission meeting on July 15, 2020 (Photo: Utah County Commission YouTube Channel)
(Photo: Utah County Commission YouTube Channel)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah County made national news and was trending on Twitter Thursday morning after a group of unmasked protesters crowded into a Utah County Commission meeting on Wednesday.

Commissioner Bill Lee addressed the crowd of approximately 100 anti-mask protesters before the meeting began, the Deseret News reports. Lee reportedly told the group that masks would be optional inside the meeting.

He added an agenda item to the meeting asking the commissioners to vote on a letter directing the Utah County Health Department to ask Gov. Herbert for a “compassionate exemption” to a statewide mask mandate for all K-12 schools.

Protesters then crowded into the chambers and ignored markers on the floor for social distancing.

However, commissioners were not able to vote on anything.

The meeting ended up lasting just a few minutes as commissioner Tanner Ainge cut the gathering short due to the unsafe conditions created by a crowd of people who were neither socially distancing nor wearing masks.

“This is going to be brief, I think,” Ainge said as he spoke to the crowd, some of whom had masks attached to their faces but were not covering their noses or mouths. “This is the exact opposite of what we need to be doing. We need to be physically distancing, wearing masks.”

The crowd interrupted the commissioner with boos, and one person held up a sign that appeared to read “No masks!”

“All of our medical experts, our department of health, everyone is encouraging to us do that,” Ainge said, raising his voice to be heard over the attendees. “This room is not complying with these health guidelines. This creates a health concern for this meeting.”

“I’m going to suspend the rules,” he finished, “and I’m going to suspend the rules and I’m going to make a motion to continue this entire meeting to another date.”

He then made the motion, which was seconded, and Ainge adjourned the meeting to a later date. The gathered protesters could be heard yelling afterward.

The county’s YouTube video had more than 5,200 views Thursday morning,

Ainge took Twitter, sharing a Washington Post article on the Utah County Commission meeting, writing that the “group does not represent a majority of Utah or Utah County.”

“They were organized by (Utah County commissioner Bill Lee) to recklessly pack the room for a vote that should not have even been on our agenda in the first place,” according to Ainge’s tweet.

After the meeting, Ainge told reporters gathered outside that the Utah County Commission doesn’t have any power as far as the mask mandate for all K-12 schools because it’s a state directive.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Back to School

remote learning after snow storm...
Katija Stjepovic, KSL TV

Canyons School District quickly switched to remote learning after Friday’s snowstorm

Friday’s early morning storm impacted multiple school districts across the Wasatch Front. Several districts adjusted start times and some even canceled classes.
4 months ago
This week KSL+ looks at what school districts describe as “chronic absenteeism” in Utah’s sch...
Matt Rascon

KSL+: The Impact of pandemic and “chronic absenteeism” in Utah schools

Months into the new school year, the pandemic’s impact on students is coming into focus.
5 months ago
A school classroom with chairs and desks...
Brooke Williams

Project to provide air purifiers in Utah K-12 classrooms

Cleaner air improves student performance, decreases COVID transmission and school absenteeism. New project provides air purifiers for classrooms in Utah.
6 months ago
Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...
Deanie Wimmer

Chronic Absenteeism leads to rise in F grades in most of Utah’s largest school districts

Schools all over Utah are dealing with the problem of chronic absenteeism. Educators are seeing thousands of absences, and as a result, failing grades.
6 months ago
Box Elder High School (KSL TV)...
Eliza Pace

In excessive heat, some districts without A/C move to half days to spare students

With record-breaking, three-digit temperatures and older schools without air conditioning, two districts and one additional high school have announced changes to a half-day schedule to accommodate students.
7 months ago
Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...
Shara Park

Taylorsville High Wellness Center sees more students in need of basic items

Taylorsville High created a wellness center to give kids a break, however over the course of the year staff saw an increasing need for basic supplies like food, clothing, and hygiene products.
7 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Utah County Commission Meeting Goes Viral After Maskless Protesters Pack Room