SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah Governor Spencer Cox, during his weekly COVID-19 briefing on Thursday morning, dropped the statewide mask mandates in school.

Cox says the K-12 mask mandate will end for the last week of school, whenever that would be for each school district. He says schools will have the power to still require masks.

“We believe that this is the right thing to do, the prudent thing to do,” says Cox, while also encouraging Utahns to do what they need to do to remain comfortable and safe.

In his first briefing without former state epidemiologist Angela Dunn, Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson were joined by the state health department’s deputy director, Michelle Hofmann.

In his briefing last week, Cox voiced his excitement at the fact that the state was approaching the milestone of having one million Utahns fully vaccinated.

According to the Utah Department of Health, 418 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday, including 6 deaths, bringing the total of positive cases in the state to 401,669 with a death toll of 2,255.

This announcement from Gov. Cox as the CDC prepares to ease indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated Americans, allowing them to safely stop wearing masks inside in most places.