SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – As states across the country take steps toward reopening, public health officials continue to emphasize the importance of wearing a mask in public places.

If you live in – or visit – the city of Springdale, Summit, Grand or Salt Lake counties, masks are mandatory at specific places like businesses.

Monday, an ABC4 visited local shops in Salt Lake County – where masks are required – and Utah County where masks are simply encouraged.

After several stops at Salt Lake County stores, ABC4 News counted about 85 people wearing a mask in or out of the store, and less than five were not wearing one at the time.

A quick drive over the county line, into Utah County, ABC4 News stopped at more local businesses, counting more than 65 people wearing a mask, and nearly 20 were not wearing one.

Eric Perry, a Utah resident, said he believes wearing a mask should be a choice.

“I still wear them to a point. Where say, if I go to Utah County, I won’t. Or if I go to Ogden, I won’t,” Perry said. “Because I don’t have to, technically.”

And Lara Durrant, another Utah resident, said she wears a mask when she goes into businesses where necessary, or when social distancing is not possible.

“I know for me personally, I have family members and friends that are immunocompromised or just in a situation if they were to get it, it would cause real health problems,” Durrant said. “So, I try to wear it as much as I can.”

Have questions about coronavirus?

According to a recent Pew Research study, it finds about two-thirds of Americans say they regularly wear a mask.

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Hailey Hendricks
Hailey graduated from Utah State University in broadcast journalism. She was nominated for a student Emmy and also won a Society of Professional Journalist (SPJ) award for her work on the show ‘Cache Rendezvous.’ She was also nominated for an SPJ on suicide prevention.