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Mask, Social Distancing Requirements Lifted In Salt Lake Co. Facilities

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Salt Lake County leaders announced that fully vaccinated people were no longer required to wear face coverings or social distance in county facilities.

The announcement was made during a news conference Friday afternoon.

Health officials said the decision was based on the most recent guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mayor Jenny Wilson encouraged people who have not been vaccinated to reach out to get a shot scheduled.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall also updated the mask policy for vaccinated city employees. She said workers who have received the shots can go without a mask two weeks after their final dose.

Those employees, however, were still encouraged to wear a mask in public spaces or when it’s not possible to social distance.

She said those who are not vaccinated must still mask up.

Earlier in the day, Gov. Spencer Cox announced the order that required masks in all 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.

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

As mask requirements have started to ease in Utah, those who are medically compromised are faced with new concerns.

“I feel like Utah has forgotten about kids who are high risk,” said Jessica Pyper, whose 10-year-old son has Type 1 diabetes.

Following their doctor’s advice, Pyper’s son, Ryker, hasn’t attended school all year. Even the normal flu can make him very sick, and it can take months to recover from an illness.

They were looking at enrolling Ryker in summer programs, but with the statewide mask mandate in schools going away during the last week of the academic year, they are now rethinking their summer plans.

“If they’re lifting at the last week of school, they’re probably not going to require it for the summer program, as well, so he can’t attend,” Pyper said. “I just don’t feel like Utah’s to the point right now where the risk is low enough that we could feel comfortable sending him around unmasked, unvaccinated kids.”

Beyond school-based summer programs, she is also watching to see what other attractions and businesses decide about mask wearing and if they will need to forego those activities as well.

“I’m worried that a lot of places that do have mask mandates in place will lift them,” Pyper said.

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