LOCAL NEWS

Mask mandate likely to stay after Salt Lake County Council Chair shows support

Jan 12, 2022, 5:11 PM | Updated: 8:10 pm

SALT LAKE COUNTY — Salt Lake County Council Chair Laurie Stringham said she is inclined to vote in favor of an indoor mask mandate in Salt Lake County, becoming a crucial vote in a split decision for the county council.

Her action will likely swing the vote in favor of the mask mandate in Salt Lake County.

The council is holding an emergency vote on the mandate Thursday night after a lengthy discussion and three rounds of voting Tuesday.

On Tuesday evening, before voting, Stringham was decidedly against having any type of vote on the mask order. However, after three separate votes to change the council agenda, the group decided to ask for a vote to overturn the mask order.

In an exclusive interview with KSL Radio, Laurie Stringham “At this point, I’m not sure what would change my position,” Stringham said. “If I for some reason found some magic cure, between now and then, I would like to have that. But, I think at this point as it stands, it’s probably just going to stand.”

“Is this a crisis when this comes to the COVID itself? Not exactly. Is it a crisis when it comes to essential services and keeping schools open and keeping people being able to get the services that they have to have? Yes,” Chair Stringham told KSL NewsRadio.

Other council members also indicated that they believe the order will stay in place.

“As much as I do not like government mandates and I voted against them in the past, this is a very different situation and we are in a dire situation and we need to do all we can and so I very much am happy with my decision,” said Councilwoman Aimiee Winder Newton.

“We cannot afford to have all of our workers, all of our school teachers, all of our emergency personnel, our doctors and nurses, we can’t have everybody sick at the same time without it having a devastating impact on our economy,” Winder Newton went on to say. “So I think that that’s the prudent choice and so I plan to vote to uphold the mask mandate.”

“Clearly the numbers show that we have a virus that’s running rampant and so we have to do whatever we can possibly to do mitigate this problem and so I think the majority of the council will probably say let’s go forward and do this,” said Councilman Jim Bradley. “That’s a prediction, not a guarantee.”

While Councilwoman Dea Theodore released a statement is opposition to the 30-day mask mandate.

“I cannot support a mask mandate. If we have learned anything from the last two years, it is that heavy-handed government mandates do not encourage responsible behavior,” Theodore’s statement said. “Rather, they result in anger, frustration, and a loss of freedom.”

Her statement went on to say that people are smart enough to make the best choice for their health.

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