SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Salt Lake County council members one by one voted for or against repealing the county-wide mask order on Thursday.
Ultimately, the majority voted against overturning it. The mask order was put in place after Utah experienced a significant rise in daily COVID-19 case counts. Most recently, 12,990 new cases in one day on Thursday. It’s the second day in a row with more than 10,000 new cases in a single day.
“The good news is that omicron is as deadly as the first two variants. Yet it’s so widespread in our nation and community that we have to do our part,” Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said.
Many people including councilman David Alvord, who proposed the motion to overturn the order, are disappointed with the outcome of the vote. “On this particular issue, this is one we have to listen to the people,” says Alvord, “The input I got was overwhelming in opposition. I would say eight to one in the emails, and very similar to that in the phone calls I received.”
Others are relieved the mask order is staying in place.
“We have a lot of vulnerable people in our community that haven’t been protected. We have to keep our economy running, we need to keep our businesses open but safe, and we need to keep our education open and safe, and we need to keep our healthcare system open and safe for everyone,” says Francesca Rose, a community member in opposition of repealing the mask order.
The order went into effect at midnight on Jan. 8 and for now, will be in place until 5 pm on Feb. 7