Data shows mask mandates are working in some Utah school districts

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Salt Lake City and Grand County Schools are proving their masks mandates are working.

Data from both schools are showing very promising results

During the first 40 days of school, the Salt Lake City School District, which has a mask mandate in place for K-6 students has reported the lowest Covid-19 numbers out of any school district in the county.

The Grand County School District, although small with only 1,500 students, has just six active COVID-19 cases. 

“I think it is important to let people know that we are certainly concerned about public health, but it is not our intent to do this forever,” said Southeast Utah County Health Department executive director Bradon Bradford.

Bradford said Grand County Schools are extending its mask mandate for PreK – 12 students for at least another 30 days.

“It is a good public health measure and I think if we were to say we want to do the best public health measures at all times we would always wear a mask,” said Bradford.

Masks have been proven to help stop the spread of COVID-19 but it is not the only thing contributing to the decline in COVID cases in Grand County Schools and Salt Lake City Schools.

More people are getting vaccinated, and Pfizer has announced they are working on a vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

An advisory committee with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is tentatively scheduled Oct. 26 to discuss Pfizer-BioNTech’s pediatric vaccine.

“This is not the time to let up,” said spokesperson for the Salt Lake County Health Department, Nicholas Rupp. “We are in a bit of a plateau and even a downward trend in case rates in certain populations so let’s not stop that now.”

Now the data more so points to the fact that masks are helping stop the spread of Covid in Utah schools.

Take Salt Lake City Schools for example.

The numbers show only 70 active cases in students and the school district had the lowest number of COVID cases through the first 40 days of the school.

It’s important to note that the SLCSD started one week later than most Salt Lake County schools.

“I believe that a mask mandate actually allows kids to be in school more consistently than a test to stay protocol,” said Grand County School District superintendent Taryn Kay.

Kay has been the superintendent for two years for the Grand County School District.

She said she knows the students don’t like to wear the masks but they know they are working.

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