HEALTH

Utah County commissioners on opposite sides of facemask mandate

Jul 14, 2020, 6:26 PM

Coronavirus Utah Families and schools...

UTAH COUNTY – Two Utah County commissioners appear to be at odds over a request to loosen the state’s facemask mandate for school kids.  One commissioner wants to ask Governor Gary Herbert to allow for exemptions, while the other says the mandate already has enough flexibility.

Commissioner Brian Lee sent an email to county residents saying, “Because I trust parents and teachers, I am requesting that Governor Herbert grant Utah County a compassionate exemption to the statewide mask-wearing mandate for all K-12 schools.”  He plans to bring the matter up for a vote during Wednesday’s commission meeting.

When fellow Commissioner Tanner Ainge got word of this email, he admits he was extremely worried.  He says his email inbox was flooded with messages from people concerned about Lee’s proposal and about a supposed rally Lee was going to hold before the meeting.  Ainge says as COVID-19 cases continue to climb, fellow commissioners shouldn’t be encouraging large unmasked gatherings.

(Commissioner Tanner Ainge’s response upon hearing about Commissioner Bill Lee’s proposal. Credit: Tanner Ainge)

“I think most people who are advocating for the mandate just want to know that leaders of communities are supporting and trying to get the message out that we need to wear masks,” Ainge tells KSL.

Ainge says he has been getting push-back from both sides of this argument, adding that a lot of people are telling him they don’t want their kids to be forced to wear a mask, citing families should have the freedom to decide when their children will wear one.  Ainge believes the governor’s mandate already gives educators plenty of wiggle room to make exceptions when they have to.

“They do allow for some adaptations, flexibility and exceptions where appropriate,” he says.

However, Lee says many people got the wrong idea about what he would actually request.  Lee says he’s in favor of kids wearing masks, and he isn’t going to ask for a total exemption.  He believes the facemask mandate is too strict and doesn’t allow teachers the ability to talk with parents about the needs of each individual child.

“That’s what I’m asking for, that we have an opportunity to have those conversations,” Lee says.

For instance, what happens if a child is having an emotional breakdown and needs to take the mask off?  What happens during lunch?  What are the rules when it comes to band or choir practice?  He says these are questions that commissioners haven’t been able to ask, yet.

Lee says, “I know that school districts, the administration, the teachers… they are having those conversations.  We need to trust those conversations will produce good results.”

Also, Lee says he isn’t holding any kind of rally.  He say a group of people will be meeting outside right before Wednesday’s meeting and he plans to tell them what their rules are and how they can respectfully engage with the commission.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Health

Chief of Police for Price City Police Department, Brandon Sicilie, holding PeeDee....

Britt Johnson

Abandoned puppy finds a home at the Price Police Department

PeeDee, a puppy found on the side of a roadway during a dispatch call, has found a new home with the Price City Police Department.

2 days ago

cdc sign shown, the agency updated its covid guidelines...

Brenda Goodman, CNN

CDC drops 5-day isolation guidance for COVID-19

The CDC says it’s updating its guidance for Covid-19 to bring it in line with its advice for other kinds of respiratory infections, including influenza and RSV.

2 days ago

baby feet, utah postpartum retreat helps new moms...

Britt Johnson

Utah company aims to help postpartum moms with special retreats

The founder of Utah Postpartum Retreat said she thinks new moms are at high risk for developing postpartum mood disorders because they lack support.

2 days ago

A nurse works in the laboratory room in El Nuevo San Juan Health Center at the Bronx borough in New...

Tammy Kikuchi

Skeptics have doubts about universal health care model for Utah

One of the biggest concerns is affordability, according to a recent presentation at the Kem C. Gardener Policy Institute.

4 days ago

FILE: Vietnam War veterans gather for a photograph following a ceremony to recognize and honor Viet...

Eric Cabrera

Veterans can soon sign up for the largest-ever expansion of VA health benefits

On March 5, vets who served in a combat zone, beginning with the Vietnam war, can directly enroll in VA healthcare.

5 days ago

Liver and kidney transplant patient Luis Campos says he's grateful he had a Spanish-speaking team....

Eric Cabrera

Murray kidney clinic helping the Latino community

MURRAY, Utah — Intermountain Health has taken steps to address healthcare in Latino communities by opening Utah’s first fully Spanish-speaking Kidney Transplant Clinic. The Intermountain Clinica Hispana de Riñon (Hispanic Kidney Clinic), in Murray, aims to provide a space for members of the Latino community navigating the complex kidney transplant process. The clinic has bilingual professionals, […]

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Utah County commissioners on opposite sides of facemask mandate