CORONAVIRUS

Salt Lake County Sees Decrease In COVID-19 Numbers Since Mask Mandate

Jul 22, 2020, 1:46 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The number of COVID-19 cases in Salt Lake County has declined slightly since the county’s mask mandate went into effect.

The county on June 28 made wearing face coverings in public spaces mandatory where social distancing isn’t an option.

On that day, Salt Lake County had 272 confirmed cases of COVID-19. For the third week in July, that number has been about 170 per day.

Mayor Jenny Wilson presents preliminary findings of face covering mandate.

Posted by Salt Lake County Government on Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Two weeks into the mandate there were some peaks with cases in the high 300s, and at one point it topped 400.

However, according to the Utah Department of Health, the Salt Lake County Health Department has gone from 45% – 50% of the state’s cases to now around 35%.

On Monday, BYU researchers published their findings after reviewing 115 scientific studies of the virus. They discovered wearing a mask reduces the transmission of COVID-19 and can stop 90% or more of respiratory droplets that carry the virus from being dispersed into the air.

“Masks are so effective because the disease is primarily transmitted through asymptomatic carriers, so you can be totally healthy and not show any symptoms and you still could be spreading the disease to your loved ones,” said BYU professor Ben Abbot. “That’s why it’s so important to wear a mask to protect those around you.”

The mask mandate for Salt Lake County has been extended to Aug. 20. The county as well as hundreds of Utah businesses and health officials have put pressure on Gov. Gary Herbert to issue a statewide mandate. So far, he hasn’t made masks mandatory, but he has strongly encouraged Utahns to wear them.

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Salt Lake County Sees Decrease In COVID-19 Numbers Since Mask Mandate