Mendenhall, Dunn attribute SLC drop in COVID-19 cases to mask mandate

Aug 21, 2020, 5:02 PM
Mendenhall, Dunn attribute drop in COVID-19 cases to masks mandate...
State epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn updated the public on the progress Salt Lake City has made in the fight against COVID-19 during a Facebook AMA with Mayor Erin Mendenhall. (Photo: Kelli Pierce)
(Photo: Kelli Pierce)

SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and Utah’s State Epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn are crediting the county’s mask mandate for a drop in COVID-19 cases in the city. 

During a Facebook “Ask Me Anything” session on Friday afternoon, Dr. Dunn said the link is clear between the mask mandate and the drop in COVID-19 cases. 

“Exactly 14 days [after the mandate went into effect], we started seeing a sharp decline in our cases, and that’s continued ever since. And other counties and cities have followed suit behind Salt Lake County with the mask mandate, and we know that is contributing to decreased spread,” Dunn said. 

Another reason why Utah might be faring better in the fight against COVID-19 is that younger people are catching the virus, and they are less likely to have a serious case of it. Dr. Dunn believes that is one reason hospitalizations are down. 

However, Mayor Mendenhall indicated that Salt Lake City will likely stay in the “orange” risk phase because neighborhoods on the westside aren’t doing as well. 

“These numbers are still quite a bit higher than we would like to see, and the rate of decline isn’t great…although it does seem to be stabilizing,” Mendenhall said. 

The mayor is asking the council to approve $50,000 for those neighborhoods most at-risk to help with testing and getting supplies, like masks. 

Mendenhall also expressed concern for small businesses, who have run out of federal money. She said she’s working with mayors across the country to change the parameters of how the dollars cities get are dispersed. 

“As they do, hopefully, another update to the way that cities can spend those CARES Act dollars, that allows us the flexibility to continue to support our small businesses. In case you didn’t know, 90% of the business licenses issued in Salt Lake City proper are small businesses,” Mendenhall said. 

When asked about mental health, Dr. Dunn stressed the importance of exercising safely, getting out of the house and sitting in the sun, and calling or video chatting with loved ones. 

But she believes Utahns may have to take safety precautions against COVID-19 for awhile. 

“This is something that we’re gonna have to keep doing for the next several months until we get a vaccine. So, really taking care of each other and figuring out ways now of how to do that safely is gonna be very important,” Dunn said.        


Related Links:

Coronavirus Tracker

COVID-19 cases rising in Summit County, Park City party to blame

Navajo Nation reports 13 more COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths



Today’s Top Stories

COVID-19-Utah response

BYU study COVID money...
Martha Harris

BYU study says ‘going cashless was useless’ during height of pandemic

Many businesses went to a cash-only model at the start of the pandemic. A recent BYU study found the effort made little impact.
2 months ago
Flags are ordered to be lowered...
Amie Schaeffer

Flags lowered to honor lives lost to COVID-19

In accordance with an order from President Biden, Gov. Cox authorized flags lowered through May 16. The order is meant to honor lives lost to the virus.
2 months ago
Utah national parks no longer have a mask mandate...
Chandler Holt

Masks no longer required in national parks

Since a federal judge struck down the CDC's transportation mask mandate, guests in national parks can choose if they'd like to wear a mask or not.
2 months ago
Photo of two 'mask required' signs...
Associated Press

CDC to extend federal travel mask mandate

CDC to extend travel mask mandate for two weeks to monitor uptick in COVID-19 cases.
3 months ago
Utah begings using wastewater to track components of the COVID-19 virus in communities...
Dan Bammes

Monitoring COVID-19 virus in Utah through wastewater

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is monitoring levels of the COVID-19 virus components in sewage at wastewater treatment plants across the state. While it’s a useful early warning system, Utah’s state epidemiologist says it’s just one of the tools they have for monitoring COVID-19 infections in the community. Last year, when the Delta variant showed […]
3 months ago
(A testing site operated by Nomi Health across the street from UDOH headquarters.  Photo: Paul Nels...
Paul Nelson

Federal health officials investigating Utah-based company over COVID-19 testing

A Utah-based company is being investigating for claims of substandard conditions at COVID-19 testing sites.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Mendenhall, Dunn attribute SLC drop in COVID-19 cases to mask mandate