WASATCH FRONT NEWS: Salt Lake, Summit, Tooele, Utah, and Wasatch counties

Utah’s statewide mask mandate to end, new policies in place

Wasatch Front

A discarded face mask lies in the street in San Francisco, Wednesday, March 17, 2021. Disposable masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment have safeguarded untold lives during the pandemic. They’re also creating a worldwide environmental problem, littering streets and sending an influx of harmful plastic into landfills and oceans. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah’s statewide mask mandate ends on April 10. 

On Thursday, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced she would enact her emergency powers as Mayor and extend the mandate within Salt Lake City. 

With backing from the Salt Lake County Council, Mayor Mendenhall says the decision to extend the mandate will require that masks continue to be worn in public settings throughout Salt Lake City after April 10, 2021.

“The state’s lack-life-saving mask requirement might end on April 10, but nothing will change that day here in Salt Lake City,” Mayor Mendenhall shares. 

Mayor Mendenhall made the announcement after Salt Lake County announced they would not extend the mandate throughout Salt Lake County. 

According to the office of Jenny Wilson, Salt Lake County Mayor, recent data and the Salt Lake County Health Department’s vaccination efforts are proving effective in protecting the cities most vulnerable populations and preventing severe COVID-19 hospitalizations and death. 

Mayor Wilson says vaccination alone will not extinguish all of the risks associated with COVID-19 or eliminate the possibility of vaccinated persons carrying the virus and potentially transmitting it to unvaccinated persons who remain vulnerable to severe illness or death. 

In an effort to continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within Salt Lake County, “effective April 10, 2021, when the State of Utah’s formal mask mandate comes to an end, face coverings must continue to be worn in all Salt Lake County owned and operated buildings, venues, facilities, and similar locations, and in all Salt Lake County owned and operated outdoor public spaces where appropriate physical distancing cannot be consistently maintained,” as stated in a press release sent to ABC4 from the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office. 

The County Mayor’s Office says the policy will remain in effect until May 31, 2021, or until otherwise modified. 

Salt Lake County says they will work together as a community to ensure all residents who want to get a COVID-19 vaccination are given the opportunity to receive one.

As they work to get more people vaccinated, face coverings must be worn to cover the wearer’s nose and mouth completely and contain two or more layers of breathable or washable fabric in all Salt Lake County owned and operated buildings.

The Mayor’s Office says a face shield may not be worn alone but may be worn in conjunction with a face covering or other protective measures. “Appropriate accommodations regarding this policy will be made for children under the age of two and for persons who, medically or psychologically, are unable to tolerate the wearing of a face covering or mask,” as stated in a press release sent to ABC4. 

“This policy pertains equally to all persons employed in any department, division, agency, office, commission, or board under my portfolio, and to all members of the public, whether they come to engage in services, to conduct business, or to play a game of bingo, read a book, catch a show or participate in the abundant recreation and similar activities that Salt Lake County has to offer,” the press release later states.

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