CORONAVIRUS UTAH

Salt Lake City, County Take Separate Paths For Mask Mandates

Apr 7, 2021, 5:27 PM | Updated: 8:48 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Leaders in Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City announced opposite face mask requirements once the statewide COVID-19 mandate ends Saturday.

You will still need to wear a mask in Salt Lake City, but not in the rest of Salt Lake County.

The city mayor signed an emergency proclamation Wednesday that extended the city mandate but the county health director will not ask for an extension.

The county health department said on Wednesday its cases continue to decline, and vaccinations are now the key tool for recovery.

“We’ve reached a plateau, and it’s actually not a declining plateau,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, who called the state legislature’s decision to end the mask mandate arbitrary and premature.

She will use her emergency powers to extend the mandate. “A stand down date without considering new cases, infection rates, or other real science factors was not a choice based on science or public health interests,” she said.

While the city mayor was encouraged by an overall decline in cases and the rise in vaccinations, she said people in west side communities still have a low rate of vaccination compared with other parts of the city and the county.

“Only a quarter of the residents in Glendale and Rose Park have received at least one dose of the vaccine compared to about 50% in the Avenues and the East Bench,” Mendenhall said.

Under House Bill 294, also known as the “End Game” bill, the director of the county health department could have asked the county council to extend the mandate, and that’s what County Mayor Jenny Wilson wanted.

However, Gary Edwards, Health Department Director, said county cases are down, and vaccinations are up. He said public health orders are reserved for an imminent threat to public health and were appropriate and necessary when cases were rising. He said it is time to lift the order.

“Now, vaccination, not masks is what will ultimately get us to the point of being able to declare this pandemic over,” Edwards said.

County leaders still recommended but did not require mask use even though they are still required in county buildings and must be worn by county employees.

“If you haven’t been vaccinated, (be sure) that you are wearing your mask. If you don’t know if the people around you have been vaccinated, it’s important to still wear your mask,” said Aimee Winder Newton, Salt Lake County Council Member.

Businesses statewide can also require people to wear masks.

“Be courteous, be kind. But, please we’re not over the goal line yet. I’ve heard it said once, you don’t spike the ball until you get over the goal line,” said Steve DeBry, Salt Lake County Council Chairman.

Edwards said he will continue to follow multiple health indicators in case he thinks the county needs to re-institute restrictions. In the event that cases exceed the critical threshold, he will take the data to the county council to consider action.


Coronavirus Resources

Have you or a family member been affected by coronavirus issues in Utah? KSL wants to hear from you. Contact KSL by emailing social@ksl.com.

Click here to sign up for a vaccine and here to see how Utah’s vaccine rollout is progressing.

The latest COVID-19 stories from KSL can be found here.

How do I prevent it?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

FILE: Davis School District....
Mike Anderson

Davis School District adds resources to handle COVID-19

The Davis School District is shifting their approach to COVID, putting more decisions in the hands of parents while getting more funds to help monitor the virus.
5 days ago
...
Ashley Moser

Utah family hasn’t seen father in nearly 1,000 days due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

“None of us were expecting to not see him three years later,” a daughter shares how her Father remains in China.
7 days ago
ATLANTA, GA - UNDATED:  This undated handout photo from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent...
Jed Boal

U of U researcher joins international team to confirm specific origin of COVID-19

New research released Tuesday confirmed the origin of COVID-19. A University of Utah Health and an international team of researchers found that the earliest cases of COVID-19 in humans emerged at a wholesale fish market in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
22 days ago
Only 50% of Utans are vaccinated and cases are surging because of the Omicron variant BA.5. FILE PH...
Jed Boal

BA.5 variant driving new surge of Utah COVID-19 cases

President Joe Biden’s positive Covid case Thursday was a sober reminder that Utah is not done fending off COVID-19 in many communities.
27 days ago
(File) Intermountain Healthcare Faculty in Murray....
Jed Boal

COVID-19 hospitalizations doubled, but mortality rate is low

Hospitals see an uptick in COVID hospitalizations due to a new infectious variant that is less lethal but more transmittable.
1 month ago
Intermountain Medical Center in Murray (KSL TV)...
Jed Boal

Researchers: Intermittent fasting provides protection against severe COVID-19

Doctors at Intermountain Healthcare have researched the health benefits of intermittent fasting for nearly a decade. Their latest discovery: intermittent fasting helps protect against severe COVID, but it is not a replacement for vaccination.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Salt Lake City, County Take Separate Paths For Mask Mandates