‘Individual choice’: Statewide mask mandate could expire April 10th

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utah’s mask mandate could be coming to an end as HB 294 says on April 10th masks will no longer be required by law. All the bill needs is a signature from Gov. Spencer Cox, who said on Friday, he will most likely sign it.

However, the bill says it will be up to individual businesses whether or not to require masks once the statewide mandate is up.

There are mixed feelings about HB 294 as some said Utahns should keep wearing masks, and other said it’s time to leave it up to the individual.

HB 294 known as the “Covid-19 endgame bill” allows the mask mandate to remain for gatherings with crowds above 50. County governments can adopt their own mask mandates if they want to, which means businesses will have to abide by those county guidelines.

According to HB 294 restrictions can loosen once Utah hits 1.63 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the 14-day case rate is less than 191 per 100,000 people and the state’s ICU hospitalization rate is less than 15% on a seven-day average.

Johnny Freeman at Market Square Grill is a supporter of letting the public decide on whether or not to wear masks. He compared the situation to Italian painter and sculptor Michaelangelo.

“When you have Michaelangelo he used different brushes to fill in the painting and that’s how he makes the painting great,” said Freeman. “You can’t take a broad brush and paint everything and expect it to solve everything. That’s where we are at. Everyone has their own special unique brush to fill in the blanks for the life. So it’s an individual thing.”

Freeman said he would like for Market Street Grill to let the customer decide if they would like to wear a mask. However, ABC4 did talk to another employee that said it’s too soon for the mask mandate to end.

Either way, Gov. Cox said he is most likely going to sign the bill, putting into law.

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