Utah (ABC4) – Utah Governor Spencer Cox talked about a bill to end Utah’s mask mandate on April 10, 2021, during his weekly coronavirus press conference.
H.B. 294 is a bill to keep a partial statewide mask mandate in effect after April 10. Businesses can – and should, according to Gov. Cox – require masks of workers and patrons, at least until the state gets 1.6 million doses available. That might not be until late May, the governor shares.
Earlier in the week, Gov. Cox issued a statement saying vaccine eligibility could be opened to every adult in Utah on April 1. In addition to expanded vaccine availability, his office addressed the mask mandate.
Here is the full statement from Gov. Cox’s office:
“Once it became clear that the Legislature planned to end the mask mandate immediately, and with a veto proof majority, our administration worked with them to push the date back to get as many people vaccinated as possible. It’s important to note that the mask mandate will continue after April 10 in schools and for large gatherings. Also, businesses can still require masks. And of course, every individual can choose to wear a mask. We anticipate opening up vaccine eligibility to every adult in the state on April 1 and will likely have 1.5 million first doses in the state by April 10.”
“I obviously don’t love the bill,” Gov. Cox shares during Thursday’s conference. “In negotiations, we came up with the best we could do,” he adds.
When the mask mandate does end, Gov. Cox says he wants to encourage businesses to continue to require masks and advises Utahns to take personal responsibility for their health.
He says Utahns should take precautions to protect their health and asks high-risk individuals to continue to take precautions.
“Please act with respect to your fellow human beings,” Gov. Cox shares. “We are close to the end of this pandemic.”
Under the most recent health order from the Utah Department of Health, the statewide mask mandate could be lifted for counties designated as having a “low” transmission level eight weeks after 1,633,000 first doses of vaccines have been allocated to the state.
According to the Utah Department of Health, the state has administered 936,681 COVID-19 vaccines to Utahans as of March 11, 2021.
Gov. Cox did not confirm if he has signed the bill during Thursday’s address.