No, police aren’t responsible for enforcing the face mask mandate

Jun 30, 2020, 12:45 PM
Utah dashboard...
The Utah Health Department provides new numbers every day detailing new cases of COVID-19. But the state's dashboard offers a deeper look into what the numbers mean.

SALT LAKE COUNTY — Since June 28, 2020, everyone in Salt Lake County has been required to wear a face mask when in public. Specifically, masks or face coverings are required at all indoor and outdoor public gatherings, in lines outside of public gatherings, and inside all stores and restaurants that are open to the public.

What exactly does that mean, and how will the mandate be enforced?

Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs says he is wearing a face covering — and encourages others to do so.  But he told KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovich “we can’t turn our police department into mask enforcers.” 

Salt Lake County Health officials say that police won’t cart people off to jail.  They also say that most people won’t be harassed by officials for not having a mask. 

Instead, it’s up to businesses to require patrons to wear a mask while in their establishment.  And it’s up to the Salt Lake County Health Department to make sure owners and managers are enforcing the face mask rule.

“It’s just like any other health code owners have to follow,” said Nicholas Rupp, spokesman for the Salt Lake County Health Department. “And however they are enforcing their ‘No shirt, no shoes, no service’ policy is how they should handle this no mask mandate.”

“Education is the first step if business owners aren’t complying,” said Rupp.  Officials will first explain to owners why this, and all health code rules, are important.  

It’s only if an owner or manager is blatant about disregarding the mandate, or they have multiple complaints, that legal action will be taken against a business.

Rupp also wants the public to know they don’t need a mask if they are walking in the park or in an area where they can remain socially distant from others.  The concern is when people are in groups or an enclosed space where it is impossible to maintain a 6-feet social distance.

So, grocery stores, nail salons, tire centers, large outdoor activities, etc are all places where masks are required if you are anywhere in Salt Lake County.

If you are concerned that a business is not complying with the face mask mandate or is violating any other health code, you can call the Salt Lake County Health Department, Monday through Friday at 385-468-4636.  Or visit their website and click on ‘Report a Problem.’

Today’s Top Stories


Utah Naloxone...
Devin Oldroyd

Utah Naloxone and law enforcement reach milestone in preventing overdose deaths

Utah Naloxone reports over 600 lives in Utah have been saved thanks to law enforcement's use of naloxone (Narcan®).
1 day ago
Primary Children's Medical Center has canceled some scheduled surgeries and other procedures this w...
Simone Seikaly

Citing rising RSV cases, Primary Children’s delaying some surgeries

Primary Children's is delaying pre-scheduled and non-emergency procedures that would require an inpatient stay.
1 day ago
Shortages of antivirals and antibiotics compound the stress of this year's early and severe respira...
Brenda Goodman and Raenu Charles, CNN

Shortages of antivirals, antibiotics compound stress of a rough season for viral illnesses in kids

Shortages of key medications used to treat common childhood illnesses like flu, ear infections, and sore throats are adding to the misery of this year's early and severe respiratory virus season.
6 days ago
Officials at Weber State University are considering a change to the student health services current...
Alexandrea Bonilla

Weber State University considers outsourcing student health care

Right now, the health center at Weber State provides low-cost care to students and does not require any form of insurance.
7 days ago
carbon monoxide poisoning...
Ali Litzinger

Carbon monoxide poisoning on the rise in winter months

SALT LAKE CITY — Winter is approaching and officials want people to know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Last year, nearly 200 Utahns were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.  The flame in a gas appliance should generally be blue, with some orange. If the flame is mostly yellow, it’s giving off excess carbon monoxide.  […]
7 days ago
Mark Jackson

BYU wellness students return from Blue zone with healthy lifestyle tips

Some BYU students are learning how to live healthy and happier lives from a trip to Ikaria, Greece.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
No, police aren’t responsible for enforcing the face mask mandate