LOCAL NEWS

Gov. Cox Will Sign Schools Face Mask Ban, Asks For Caution During Drought

May 20, 2021, 4:49 PM | Updated: May 21, 2021, 5:20 am

SALT LAKE CITY – Gov. Spencer Cox said Utah has to get back to normal as he applauded the Legislature’s efforts to end COVID-19 restrictions in schools.

The governor made clear during his Thursday news conference on PBS that he will sign a resolution passed during Wednesday’s special session to prohibit face mask requirements in schools.

“I’ll sign it because I’ve been saying all along for months that we would not have masks in the fall,” Cox said.

He added a big reason for that is the increasing availability of vaccines.

Right now, those 12 and older are eligible to roll up their sleeves.

That left the possibility that students under 12 would not be vaccinated and there’s very little concern those elementary-age children would have serious complications related to COVID-19.

“When you look at the data around elementary schools, the data is very clear: The risk of hospitalizations and deaths for elementary schools is extremely low,” Cox said.

Cox also pointed out that being able to see faces is critical for early childhood development, as cited in guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

He added if circumstances changed then state leaders would have the ability to alter course — either using his executive powers or getting the Legislature involved.

The governor was clear that we should be celebrating the availability of vaccines by rolling up our sleeves then tossing those masks as soon as we are fully vaccinated.

Cox also discussed the drought and called on all Utahns to do their part and use less water.

He said we are headed into the worst drought and potentially the most explosive fire season we’ve ever seen.

“Let me just state unequivocally guys, it’s really bad,” he said. “It’s as bad as it’s ever been.”

Cox said mandatory water restrictions are already in place in some parts of the state, and more are likely as we head into the summer months.

He shared that right now on his farm in Fairview, they are dealing with water cutbacks that they don’t usually see until July or August.

Cox recognized mother nature is ultimately in control of how bad it gets but said everyone can do their part to help out.

“We already have limitations on watering in our yards and we need everybody to especially be cautious if you’re going camping with a trailer,” he said. “Check your chains, make sure you’re not dragging chains. If you’re going out to shoot, make sure you’re in an area where shooting is allowed, that there isn’t any potential for sparking that would cause fires.”

There is a state of emergency in place for drought conditions which allows affected communities, agricultural producers and others access to state or federal emergency resources.

And just Thursday in the special session, lawmakers passed a resolution to extend that state of emergency until Oct. 31.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

The small plane that crashed at the Skypark Airport in Bountiful. (Josh Hardy, Battalion Chief Sout...
Michael Houck

A small plane crashes at Skypark Airport, one injured

A small plane crashed at the Skypark Airport in Bountiful Tuesday morning, according to authorities. 
13 hours ago
FILE: Getty Images...
Matt Rascon

Districts seek substitute teachers amidst shortages

School districts are asking their communities to help fill the expected gaps in the classrooms this year by becoming substitute teachers.
13 hours ago
Mazza Salt Lake City Restaurant....
Shelby Hintze & Michael Houck

Salt Lake City restaurant forced to cut hours and increase prices because of inflation

A local restaurant is cutting its hours back and increasing food prices due to inflation hitting them hard.
13 hours ago
West Jordan mother, Jessica Keetch Minnesota, who was killed in the Big Cottonwood Canyon crash (Co...
Lauren Steinbrecher

Neighborhood supports family of West Jordan mom killed in Big Cottonwood Canyon crash

 A neighborhood is coming together for a family after a terrible crash in Big Cottonwood Canyon left a West Jordan mother dead.
13 hours ago
Micahel Grant Asman is seen In this photo from June 12, 2022. Heber Police want to find him in conn...
Michael Houck

Heber homicide suspect found dead in Oregon

SALT LAKE CITY — The body of the murder suspect, Michael Grant Asman, 35, has been found in a state park in Oregon, authorities say. Asman was declared a suspect in the murder of 36-year-old Julie Ann Burns in July. According to the Heber City press release, Asman’s body was found Monday afternoon near Joseph, […]
13 hours ago
KSL’s Matt Gephardt fuels up his minivan to determine how much gas Google Maps’ eco-friendly ro...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Can Google’s eco-friendly routes really save you gas money?

Gas prices have edged down from their record highs, but they are still a far cry from being affordable for many Utah families. So, when Google rolled out a new feature for its Maps navigation app that says it can save you money on gas by using suggested eco-friendly routes, the KSL Investigators decided to put it to the test.
2 days 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.
Gov. Cox Will Sign Schools Face Mask Ban, Asks For Caution During Drought