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Mask Mandate For State Facilities To End Saturday

FILE PHOTO (Mike Anderson/KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Gov. Spencer Cox has announced the order requiring masks in state facilities will end on Saturday.

The order, which also required state employees to wear masks, was issued in March after the state’s “endgame” COVID-19 bill was signed into law.

“As COVID-19 cases in the state continue to fall, and vaccinations continue to rise, we are moving to end the state employee mask requirement,” Chief of Staff Jon Pierpont said in a memo issued Wednesday. “Accordingly, at the direction of Gov. Spencer J. Cox, the ‘State Employee and State Facilities Face Covering Requirement’ policy issued March 31, 2021, is hereby terminated on May 15, 2021.

“Nevertheless, until the Utah Department of Health determines that the COVID-19 pandemic has abated, employees may continue to wear masks. We also continue to strongly encourage the following:

  1. state agencies should continue to post conspicuous signage listing COVID-19 symptoms and requesting individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to stay home;
  2. employees should become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible; and
  3. employees should take necessary health and safety precautions, including good hygiene practices such as regular hand-washing and workplace sanitizing.

“We emphasize that the termination of the mask requirement is not a prohibition against mask wearing. Mask wearing continues to offer health benefits and is left to the discretion of each individual employee. Employees should respect the decisions of others regarding masks.”

On Thursday, Cox announced the statewide mask mandate for K-12 schools would end the Monday of a school’s final week of classes.

Gov. Cox: No Statewide Mask Mandate For Last Week Of School

Districts and schools will still be allowed to enforce a mask mandate if they feel COVID-19 is spreading in a school.

“I think about kids in elementary school that haven’t been able to see their teacher’s face and their friends’ faces — that stuff matters. It’s really important,” Cox said. “We also have seen cases coming down and that was important as well that we’re not seeing the type of community spread that we had in the past.”

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