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Doctor Urges Utahns To Keep Wearing Masks After Mandate Ends

(KSL TV)
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A Utah doctor urged people to keep wearing masks, even after the statewide mandate ends, to keep case counts trending downward and to give more people time to get vaccinated.

The mandate ends at midnight Friday, but several local governments, businesses and schools will still require the face coverings, including the Utah Transit Authority.

“I think we’ve learned very well that masking works in our communities. It helps keep our businesses open, it helps us interact with our families’ safely,” said Dr. Kristin Dascomb, infectious diseases physician at Intermountain Healthcare during a news conference Friday.

She said masks have proven to slow transmission rates.

While some may be ready to take off their mask, Dascomb warned now is not the time for Utahns to let their guard down.

“While we have these few months of continuing transmission, while we get that vaccine out to more folks, it is still a recommended practice to have masking in place,” she said.

Masks will still be required at all Intermountain health facilities, even after the statewide mandate is lifted.


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.

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