Event spaces, concert attendees react to mask mandate in SL County
Jan 9, 2022, 9:35 AM
SALT LAKE CITY – Less than 24 hours after the Salt Lake County Health Department issued a 30-day mask order, thousands gathered at the Gateway for a concert.
“I was a little worried that it might be canceled,” concert attendee Nick Stewart said. “(I’m) so glad the concert continued! The mask just becomes part of the atmosphere. So many people here have creative and fun masks.”
Organizers with Salt Lake City Live said their attendance numbers are down.
“We felt like it was a great time for an outdoor show,” Dustin Esson with Salt Lake City Live said. “Gathering 4,000+ people in this space is a tremendous task. And then with this mask mandate just hitting us days before… that added a whole other layer.”
Salt Lake City Live handed out masks at the entrance for those who didn’t already have one. Officials also set up extra sanitation stations and a COVID testing center on-site.
“All the artists were tested before tonight’s concert,” Esson said.
After another record breaking day of new COVID cases, Salt Lake County Health Department 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.
Friday, Utah saw more than 9,400 new cases of coronavirus.
“As someone with PTSD, it’s so good to reconnect with society.” Mike Smith, concert attendee, said. “Masks are not a deterrent or negative at all. When all the vibes are positive: good lights, good music; everyone is just here to have fun and love each other.”