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University of Utah will still require masks after mandate ends

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University of Utah approves new 'student safety plan'

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Like other venues and Salt Lake City, the University of Utah will continue to require face coverings on campus beyond the end of the statewide mask mandate.

On April 10, Utah’s mask mandate will end. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall has already announced the mask mandate will continue within the city, despite Salt Lake County officials saying it won’t within the rest of the county.

The Utah Jazz, Vivint Arena, Hogle Zoo, Harmons, and Intermountain Healthcare will also continue to require guests and customers to wear masks.

For at least the rest of the academic year, the University of Utah will require masks to be worn in all university-owned and operated buildings.

In a Wednesday letter, interim president Michael Good and senior vice president for Academic Affairs Dan Reed say:

Vaccination is proving highly effective in preventing severe COVID-19, hospitalization and death from coronavirus. Vaccination does not, however, eliminate the possibility of a vaccinated individual carrying the virus and potentially transmitting it to an unvaccinated individual, who could then develop severe COVID-19. Accordingly, we need to continue face coverings at the University of Utah until all members of our campus community who seek vaccination have had the opportunity to receive one.

They say a decision about requiring masks in the fall will be made closer to the start of the academic year and will be based on public health guidance at the time. The U is prepared to welcome fans back into Rice Eccles Stadium in mid-April for the spring football season.

In his recommendations to Salt Lake County officials, county health department Executive Director Gary Edwards advised that vaccinations, not masks, “will ultimately get us to the point of being able to declare this pandemic over.”

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