Should face masks be required in Utah?

Coronavirus Updates
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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – State health officials continue to say masks are highly recommended, but they are not required. A number of states now require people to wear them.

The Center for Disease Control – along with Utah officials – continue to encourage the use of face coverings in public, especially when social distancing is not possible.

During Wednesday’s press conference, state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said – at this time – the state does not have plans to require Utahns to wear a mask, but again, it’s highly recommended.

“Wearing a mask really shows that you care about your community and that you want to prevent COVID-19 from spreading – especially to those who are at high risk for disease,” Dunn said.

As of Wednesday, 32 states – including Utah – have some face covering guidelines, according to masksforall.co. Fourteen other states require people to wear a mask, and four do not have any known guidelines.  

As of Thursday afternoon, California is now the 15th state to require a mask.

With more states requiring masks, ABC4 News went to Liberty Park to ask locals if they think masks should be required or not.

“I think it should be a mandatory thing because then it kinda cuts down on the spread of the possibility of getting COVID,” Russ Johnson said.

RELATED: Are Utahns taking the coronavirus seriously?

“People just do what they’re gonna do. They’re either gonna wear a mask or they’re not gonna wear a mask,” Monica Cook said. “For me, I don’t wear it because I’ve done the research on it and I know that it’s something I don’t need to be worried about or have to be wearing or running around with.”

“For the most part when I’m outdoors, I don’t wear a mask. I keep distance, but I absolutely think at stores or any other places, just absolutely require a mask. It’s just a no brainer. It’s not rocket surgery,” Marv Hamilton said. “Let’s just take care of each other.”

State officials say if anyone is in need of a mask, they will mail a free one, if it’s ordered online at coronavirus.utah.gov/mask.

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