Utahns, Salt Lake City & County mayors call on Gov. Herbert to mandate masks in public

Coronavirus Updates

A petition signed by thousands was created to make mask wearing mandatory

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Utah (ABC4 News) – As Utah’s coronavirus numbers continue to grow many Utahns are wondering if mask-wearing will become mandatory.

Utah leaders have taken to social media sharing their concerns and thoughts on mask wearing.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said “Masks are estimated to be 75% to 82% effective at preventing the spread of COVID. Requiring they be worn in public statewide could help us turn the tide and save lives.”

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said she feels if the governor required face coverings in public would “go a long way.”

Mayor Wilson also submitted a request to Governor Herbert to require face coverings in
public. According to a press release, the call for mandatory mask-wearing follows the recent surge of coronavirus cases in Salt Lake County.

Mayor Wilson formally requested that Governor Gary Herbert allow Salt Lake County to require face coverings in retail and commercial establishments. “Salt Lake County is in agreement with the State’s healthcare leaders and State epidemiologist, Angela Dunn, that we are nearing our last chance for a course correction to manage the spread and death of COVID-19,” said Mayor Wilson. “I don’t want more severe restrictions. Face coverings are our most effective tool in avoiding that.”

The County’s request to Governor Herbert asks for approval to require individuals to wear face
coverings in retail and commercial establishments, restaurants while waiting to be seated and served, and at community gatherings, the press release stated.

The proposed requirement would take effect 12:01 a.m. June 27, 2020. No decision has been made at this point.

Governor Herbert’s office sent the following statement to ABC4:

“Governor Herbert strongly supports mask wearing in public when social distancing is not possible because it is a sign of respect for the health and well being of others. He is concerned that requiring masks could create divisive enforcement issues at a time when we need to come together of our own accord around a shared concern for one another’s health. That said, local health departments should bring their data and analysis to the Utah Department of Health if they believe there is a need to vary from the current guidelines.”

-Governor Herbert’s office

Utah’s four largest healthcare systems are coming together to encourage Utahns to “mask up.”

Take our poll: Should it be mandatory to wear face masks in public?

Many Utahns feel mask-wearing while out in public should be mandatory. A petition was created stating the following:

What we want: That Utah government will issue a mandatory face mask order for everyone who leaves their home during the pandemic to wear a homemade or commercially available cloth face covering over their nose and mouth.

Over 3,800 have signed the petition

Don’t have a mask? The state has a goal to get ‘A Mask for every Utahn.’

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