Utah Republican party deems mask requirements at local facilities ‘inappropriate’

Local News

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – The Salt Lake County Republican Party releases a statement opposing mask mandates.

“The Salt Lake County Republican Party has always supported individual responsibility and limits on government power. This pandemic has proven that whether through faith in God, the caring for one another, or through private initiatives we can overcome challenges threatening our community,” the statement begins.

On May 4, the Utah Department of Health announced that all of Utah’s public health orders have been lifted due to the state reaching COVID-19 thresholds in a bill previously passed by Utah State Legislature, allowing businesses the right to continue enforcing mask-wearing and social distancing.

“Vaccines are now available for anyone over 16 who wants one. Salt Lake County and all of Utah have dropped below the threshold goals that our state government leaders have set. We respect the right of any citizen to continue wearing a mask wherever, whenever and for as long as they choose,” the Salt Lake County Republican Party continues. “Since the state is no longer requiring mask mandates (except in schools and groups larger than 50 in attendance), it seems inappropriate for Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson to require them at county facilities.”

Since the end of the statewide mask mandate, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson has informed community members that masks will continue to be required in all county-run buildings for the foreseeable future.

This includes event venues, libraries, recreation and art centers, along with a number of other facilities.

“It’s important that I protect my staff and teams and it’s also important that our patrons come – children included – safely,” Wilson adds.

“Please join us in supporting County Council Woman Dea Theadore and other Republican County Council members. David Alvord and Laurie Stringham as we call on County Mayor Jenny Wilson to stop hindering the full return to normal for Salt Lake County facilities,” asks the Salt Lake County Republican Party.

The bill, House Bill 294, also known as the COVID-19 “endgame bill,” previously stated that Utah’s public health orders would be lifted if and when the following conditions were met:

  • Utah’s 14-day case rate is less than 191 per 100,000 people (currently 163.4)
  • State’s seven-day average COVID-19 ICU usage is less than 15% (currently 11.2%)
  • More than 1,633,000 prime doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been allocated to the state (1,656,025 doses have currently been allocated to Utah)

The announcement signals the end of statewide restrictions on social distancing and limits on the size of gatherings. The mask mandates in Salt Lake City and Grand County have also been lifted now that these thresholds have been met.

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