2 Salt Lake City Council members plan to vote ‘yes’ on extending mask mandate in schools

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY – Less than 24 hours until the Salt Lake City Council is set to vote on the Local Emergency Declaration Extension, ABC4 spoke with two of them to see how they think Tuesday’s meeting will go.  

This comes after Salt Lake City Mayor Mendenhall asked the council to extend it, which would keep the mask mandate in place for another 30 days.

Dan Dugan and Darin Mano believe the council will vote to keep the mask mandate in K through 12 schools in the Salt Lake City School District. Both Dugan and Mano had COVID themselves and believe the mask mandate is Utah’s best option at keeping children safe.  

“I plan to vote yes to keep the mask mandate in place,” Darin Mano said.  

“I am pretty sure we are going to vote to reinstate this,” Dan Dugan said.   

Dugan and Mano fully supported Mayor Mendenhall’s decision to use her emergency powers to issue the mask mandate four days before classes started in the Salt Lake City School District.   

“It was the right decision before school started and I backed it one hundred percent there, and I back it now. This is the right move, and the data shows that,” Dugan said.  

Dugan said he believes the city council was on the same page and supported the Mayor’s mandate when it went into effect 20 days ago.  

“There was no appetite to vote it down at the time, that at least I heard from my colleagues and so we didn’t even convene a meeting to discuss it,” Mano said.  

However, for the mandate to be extended, the city council must vote on it. While there is no way to tell for certain, both Dugan and Mano believe the council will vote to extend the mandate.  

“My assumption is that the council will be united in supporting the Mayor’s mask mandate,” Mano said.  

“We work really well together; we discuss things and we’re looking at the data. We aren’t just shooting at the hip,” Dugan said.  

During a press conference on Monday, Mayor Mendenhall pointed to the County Health Department’s data claiming it proves her mandate helps keep children safe.  

“At 57 new cases per 10 thousand population…Salt Lake City School District has the lowest rate of COVID-19 cases since the first day of school among the counties’ five school districts,” Mendenhall said.  

She is confident that the council will support her decision.  

“I think the data speaks clearly. We have seen the council be supportive of this 20 days ago when I issued it, or thereabouts, and I am hopeful that they will,” Mendenhall said.

In the meantime, both council members say they’ve received a lot of feedback prior to Tuesday’s vote.  

“I’m getting emails and notes asking for my support of the mask mandate from teachers and friends and just residents in my district,” Dugan said.  

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“I’m glad my consistency supports that or else it would be a much more difficult decision for me,” Mano said.

They both plan on voting ‘yes’ to extend the mandate and believe this is the city’s best option until young children can get vaccinated.  

“They should be wearing masks to protect themselves, their teachers, their families, and their teachers’ families and it’s an easy one,” Dugan said.  

“It is a simple thing that we can do to protect ourselves and more importantly protect others. I think we all need to have each other’s backs right now,” Mano said.  

There will be a limited formal meeting at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night. ABC4 has learned the meeting is being held specifically to vote on the Local Emergency Declaration Extension. If the council votes to extend it, the emergency order for masks in K-12 schools will also be extended.  

There will be no public comment portion during the meeting which is standard protocol for Limited Formal Meetings.  

Stay with ABC4 News for updates.  

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