Salt Lake Co. Council To Vote Thursday On K-6 Student Mask Order

Aug 11, 2021, 6:49 PM | Updated: Aug 12, 2021, 5:25 am

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County Council will meet Thursday afternoon to vote on whether to approve or overturn a mask requirement for students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

Dr. Angela Dunn, the executive director of the county’s health department, issued the public health order of constraint Wednesday that mandates face coverings for K-6 students in public, charter and private schools in the county.

“The best way that I can articulate the gravity of this situation, and what I see as the best way forward for Salt Lake County, and to keep our kids safe and in-person learning, is to officially notify Mayor Wilson of my intent to issue a mask order for school children under the age of 12 years in Salt Lake County,” Dunn said Tuesday.

The order states that masks are required in any indoor areas and on school-provided transportation.

Council Chair Steve DeBry, a Republican, called a special council meeting for Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Salt Lake County Government Center to vote on a resolution to terminate Dunn’s order.

“I’m going to vote to overturn the constraint order,” DeBry said in an interview with KSL TV.

It will take a simple majority of the nine-member council to terminate the mask order, DeBry said. Republicans have six of the seats compared to three held by Democrats.

DeBry said he wants to leave the decision about mask wearing for young children up to their parents.

“I don’t think there’s enough efficacy in those little kids wearing the masks to even move the needle very much as far as the protection it’s going to give them,” he said. “The way we’re going to get out of this is for adults to get vaccinated.”

Councilmember Jim Bradley, a Democrat, told KSL TV that he will vote to keep the mask requirement in place.

“I see no downside, other than maybe an inconvenience with children having to wear a mask for 30 days in school, to not at least attempt to see if that approach works,” Bradley said.

Bradley said he agrees with Dunn’s order as a way to protect children too young to be eligible for the vaccine.

“You cannot just ignore science,” Bradley said. “You cannot ignore the data and when all things are said and done we are talking about our children. How much do you want to risk that you’re right or wrong on whatever your thought is on masks?”

The president of the Utah Education Association sent a letter to council members urging them to support Dunn’s recommendations concerning COVID-19 and public schools.

“Utah educators are very concerned about the impact of emerging COVID variants and how they may affect student learning and educator workload,” UEA president Heidi Matthews said. “We all want what is best for our students to learn and thrive, which this year, absolutely depends on our schools being safe and remaining open for in-person learning. The best way to address these issues is to slow the spread of the virus by following the recommendations given by Dr. Angela Dunn and her colleagues, the medical experts at the State and County Health Departments.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

flu shot tripledemic...
Matt Rascon

KSL+: The rise of respiratory viruses and COVID’s impact

It’s not even winter yet, and the CDC is warning that the country is experiencing a resurgence of respiratory viruses, which are taking a toll on hospitals and children.
8 days ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

US clears updated COVID boosters for kids as young as 5

The U.S. on Wednesday authorized updated COVID-19 boosters for children as young as 5, seeking to expand protection ahead of an expected winter wave.
2 months ago
Alex Cabrero and Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Sandy woman shares frustration of ongoing battle with COVID-19

As life starts to return to normal from the pandemic, for millions of Americans, it still causes a daily struggle. That's the case for one Sandy woman, who shared her story Tuesday.
2 months ago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
3 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Jed Boal

Despite reaching 5,000 deaths, Utah’s COVID-19 numbers are down

The director of the World Health Organization said yesterday about COVID-19, “the end is in sight,” even if we are not there yet.
3 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
LAURA UNGAR AP Science Writer

Is COVID-19 winding down? Scientists say no

New booster shots have arrived and social distancing guidelines have eased but COVID-19 infections aren't going away anytime soon. Experts predict the scourge that's already lasted longer than the 1918 flu pandemic will linger far into the future as the virus continues to cause deaths and may well mutate or evolve into a new disease.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Salt Lake Co. Council To Vote Thursday On K-6 Student Mask Order