Salt Lake County 30-day mask order requires specific type of masks

Jan 7, 2022, 12:40 PM | Updated: Jan 8, 2022, 4:03 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County Health Department issued a 30-day mask order that required residents to wear high-quality masks such as N-95 or K-N-95.  

The order took effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday in response to the record-breaking surge of the omicron COVID-19 variant.

SLCoHD Executive Director Dr. Angela Dunn issued the order Friday which required all people in Salt Lake County, regardless of vaccination status, to wear well-fitting face coverings when indoors or queueing outdoors in public.

The N-95 or K-N-95 masks are certified to filter a minimum amount of airborne particles. They can be found free-of-charge to the public at Senior centers and county libraries.

The State of Utah is also offering these certified masks to K through 12 schools.  

Cloth masks, however, will be accepted as a backup until a respirator can be obtained. 

“We desperately need to use every tool available to ensure our hospitals can continue providing excellent healthcare through this surge,” Dunn said. “We also need to ensure that our essential services have the staff necessary to operate—from law enforcement, to plow drivers, to schoolteachers. It is my obligation as health officer to take the action I believe has the best chance to prevent unnecessary suffering throughout our community.”

The mask order applies to grocery stores, restaurants, hotels, retail stores, offices and schools.

“All kids, teachers, and staff should be wearing a mask when they are in indoor settings,” Dunn said in an interview with KSL-TV.

Dunn said that the mask mandate can help keep schools open with in-person learning.

“We only have a fraction of our five to 11 year olds vaccinated and we want to desperately keep them in in-person learning,” she said.

Exemptions include:

  • Individuals under 2 years of age and those with medical conditions, impairments or disabilities that prevent wearing a mask
  • Individuals engaging in work where they are alone and individuals for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the individual related to their work as determined by local, state or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines
  • Individuals seated at a restaurant or other food/beverage establishment while they are actively eating or drinking

The order is scheduled to end at 5 p.m. on Feb. 7.

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson signed the mask order Friday evening. Wilson said:

“I deeply appreciate the expertise of Dr. Angela Dunn, our County Public Health Director. I accept her recommendation for a 30-day countywide mask requirement in Salt Lake County. The Omicron variant has spread rapidly. Just two weeks ago, we were at 500 cases a day in Salt Lake County. Today we sit at over 4,600 per day. We recognize the sense of urgency in our community as hospitals are threatened. We need to utilize every tool available to slow the spread and high-quality masks worn indoors in public spaces are a proven measure. Our county is open, we are running business as usual. This is a temporary step that is necessary to get us through this next phase of COVID.”

The letters are below.

SLC mask request to SL Coun… by LarryDCurtis

Salt Lake City mask request… by LarryDCurtis

Utah Senate President Stuart Adams and Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson issued a statement about the Salt Lake County and Summit County mask orders.

Reaction from Utah Legislature on SL County mask mandate by LarryDCurtis on Scribd

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

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.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Intermountain Medical Center (KSL TV)...
Emily Ashcraft

Pandemic led to increase in rate and severity of depression, Intermountain study says

The COVID-19 pandemic had a large impact on mental health, specifically depression, an Intermountain Health study using research from thousands Utah patients found.
23 days ago
Emily Ashcraft

Masks no longer required at Intermountain Health facilities, 3 years after pandemic started

Intermountain Health announced wearing masks will become optional for visitors and patients beginning March 15, following an anticipated decline in respiratory illnesses.
26 days ago
woman blowing her nose on a couch...
Paul LeBlanc

New assessment on the origins of COVID-19 adds to the confusion

Three years after the start of the pandemic, researchers are beginning to look more into how COVID-19 began and its origins.
1 month ago
Flu COVID test...
Jen Christensen, CNN

FDA authorizes first at-home test for flu, Covid-19

If you've got a fever and a cough, you don't necessarily have to go to the doctor anymore to find out if it's the flu or COVID-19.
1 month ago
Ashley Moser

COVID long-haulers push lawmakers to approve funding for treatment research

The request for $4,000,000 would help U of U Health’s Comprehensive COVID-19 Clinic, which has seen 1,800 long COVID-19 patients since July of 2021.
1 month ago
Katija Stjepovic

Utah arts and cultural jobs are surging after COVID pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic pulled the curtains on most of Utah's arts and cultural jobs, but after nearly three years, they are reemerging. 
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Stack of old laptops with dark background...
PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.
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.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
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.
Salt Lake County 30-day mask order requires specific type of masks