SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) On Wednesday, Salt Lake County announced it will not extend a mask mandate for county residents beyond April 10.
The Governor’s mask mandate partially expires on Saturday, with exceptions for K-12 schools and state employees.
Council says the decision not to extend the mandate is required by the Salt Lake County Health Department Director Gary Edwards.
Edwards sites new data indicating new COVID-19 cases are decreasing and each week Salt Lake County is vaccinating tens of thousands of residents, bringing us closer to the end of this pandemic.
This decision goes against Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson’s plea to extend a mask mandate.
“Mayor Wilson has been very clear that she hopes people will continue to wear masks as we have had conversations, she respects the process that the health department was able to give council his recommendations,” says Councilmember Aimee Winder Newton.
Edwards says this is a tentative decision – should any of the following happen, the decision could change:
- Salt Lake County experience two consecutive weeks (Sunday through Saturday) of an increase in cases of 10% or greater,
- There are 245 new cases per 100,000 residents,
- Total ICU increase to 75%,
- Test positivity rate exceeds 7.5%.
The new mandate, passed by the state legislature, takes effect April 10.
“We will look at that closely and work closely with the health department to make sure we are still on that downward trend and we do not reverse the good things that we are doing,” Councilmember Steve DeBry says.
It requires masks in all K-12 schools and for groups larger than 50.
Mayor Wilson signed an executive order requiring masks in all government and county buildings.
Although Salt Lake County is not requiring a mask, residents are encouraged to continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.