SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – When Utah’s statewide mask mandate ends on April 10th Salt Lake County will not enact its own county-wide mask mandate, but Salt Lake City will.
After Salt Lake County officials announced plans to not extend a mask mandate within its jurisdiction Salt Lake City’s Mayor Erin Mendendall discusses the importance of mask-wearing within Salt Lake City.
“We need to keep doing what has worked-wearing masks,” Mayor Mendenhall shares during a press conference Wednesday.
The mandate that will extend in Salt Lake City will remain the same as the current mandate in effect by the state. “Nothing changes from that,” Maylor Mendenhall shares.
“My job is to try to protect the people who live in this city to try to protect the people who work in this city, and to protect the business that employs people here. And that’s why today, with the backing of the Salt Lake City Council and the support of medical and business leadership, I am using the emergency powers given to the office of mayor to require that masks continue to be worn at all public settings in Salt Lake City,” Mayor Mendenhall shares.
“The states lack-life-saving mask requirement might end on April 10, but nothing will change that day here in Salt Lake City,” Mayor Mendenhall adds.
With backing from the Salt Lake County Council, Mayor Mendenhall announced that through emergency powers that do not go against House Bill 294, she will require that masks continue to be worn at public setting throughout Salt Lake City after April 10, 2021.
According to the Salt Lake County Health Department, House Bill 294, a bill addressing Utah’s mask mandate, the legislature put “themselves in a no-lose position.”
The Salt Lake County Health Department says they “promised the public they would eliminate the mask requirement based on a date, rather than data, while still shielding themselves from any responsibility for an increase in cases by saying it was the responsibility of local health departments and county legislative bodies to continue the requirement,” as stated in a press release sent to ABC4.
Salt Lake County Health Department officials say they open to having a discussion with the council based on data they have collected.
“As a county we must continue to recommend and encourage mask use, especially by people who are not vaccinated and whenever anyone is in a public setting and they do not know if people around them have been vaccinated. We also must fully support businesses that continue to require masks for the safety of their employees and partons,” as stated in the press release.
If the county experience a surge in cases, increased ICU utilization they say they will discuss the situation and make a determination.
This is a developing story. ABC4 News will provided updates.