Salt Lake City Council votes to extend mask mandate in SLC School District

Local News

A visitor wearing a mask to protect against the spread of COVID-19 passes a sign requiring masks, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Salt Lake City Council has voted to extend a mask mandate for K-12 students in the Salt Lake City School District.

The Council’s decision will keep the mask mandate in place for another 30 days.

The extension comes following the initial order of the mask mandate by Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall back in late August.

“As Mayor, it is my responsibility to do everything I can to keep our City, and our school district, from going down the tragic and dangerous path many others are already on,” she said in her August 20 announcement. “I look forward to lifting this requirement when we reach safer levels of transmission and immunity. We will continue to work with health officials and rely on them to help us determine when the order can be lifted.”

Nearly a month after issuing the initial mandate, Mendenhall spoke at a press conference, saying the mask mandate is working

“Today, I am encouraged to report that our school children in the Salt Lake City School District appear to be healthier and better able to stay in in-person learning than any other kids in Salt Lake County,” Mendenhall said in Monday’s press conference.

Mendenhall cited data from SLCo Health Department’s Dr. Angela Dunn shows the Salt Lake City School District has the lowest rate of COVID-19 cases since the first day of school among the county’s five school districts. According to Mendenhall, there is “overwhelming compliance” with the mandate with about 99.8% of students are wearing masks.

The extension of the mask mandate comes on the heels of the Utah Department of Health reporting 290 cases of COVID-19 in school-aged children on Tuesday. Of those cases,  UDOH is reporting 143 cases in children ages 5-10, 72 cases in children ages 11-13, and 75 cases in children ages 14-17

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