MOAB, Utah (ABC4) – The Grand County School District has announced that masks will be required for all K-6 students for the beginning of the upcoming school year.
It will remain in effect for the first 30 days of the school year and will require all K-6 students to wear a mask when indoors beginning August 19.
The mandate, proposed by the Southeastern Utah Health Department, was announced with support from the Grand County Commission, the Grand County School District, and Moab Regional Hospital.
The mandate comes in spite of Utah’s legislation that prevents school districts from enforcing their own mask mandates.
However, the legislation allows local health departments to issue mask mandates for schools in conjunction with elected county officials.
In a prepared statement, the district says they will “closely monitor” COVID-19 case counts to determine if the mask mandate will be renewed after 30 days.
District officials say the decision to enact a mask mandate for K-6 students rather than K-12 students is due to the fact that 5-12-year-olds are unable to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Once a vaccine for 5-12 year-olds is approved, the district says it is likely “there will be no further mask mandates.”
“Thank you for your support in complying with this new K-6 mask mandate,” the district said Monday. “We stand at a crossroads and are choosing to take the path most likely resulting in safer, healthier students. We owe it to our children to protect them. Each student, every day.”
Last week, The Salt Lake County Council overturned a proposed mask mandate from the Salt Lake County Health Department and other county leaders for all Salt Lake County students under the age of 12 when indoors.