Salt Lake County clarifies mask mandate to add outdoors; targets teens

Sep 24, 2020, 4:13 PM | Updated: 5:43 pm

Mayor Jenny Wilson said teens and young people are leading the increase in coronavirus cases, so she hopes the social media campaign will make them wear face coverings to protect others. (Mary Richards)

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — Salt Lake County is trying to get teenagers to wear masks more often by launching a new social media campaign: “Mask up or miss out.”

The campaign warns high schoolers that they have to quarantine at home if they don’t wear a mask at school or when they’re with friends.

“High school memories aren’t the same at home,” one picture reads.

Some high schools in the county have switched to a hybrid or online schedule because of rising case counts that reached a certain threshold.

“We’ve heard of issues at our school football games and some other gatherings with kids, where in the outdoors face coverings are not being worn,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “We know that increases risk.”

Wilson spoke at Valley Regional Park in Taylorsville about updating the county’s mask mandate as well. It now says that if you are outside around non-family members or not social distancing, you must wear a mask.

“So that’s just a little tweak to our order to remind people, that when you are outside, and when you are around others, have your face covering on,” she said.

Wilson said teens and young people are leading the increase in coronavirus cases, so she hopes the social media campaign will make them wear face coverings to protect others.

The county is giving 1,000 masks to each city or municipality as well. They can even hand them out at football games.

The mayor said Salt Lake County’s mask mandate will stay in effect through January, until there’s a vaccine or a low number of cases.

Wilson also said she was glad that Utah County just issued a mask mandate. She says the virus does not obey boundaries. But she says the point is not to be punitive, and law enforcement can educate people instead.

“This isn’t the year for big dances or big parties,” she said.

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Salt Lake County clarifies mask mandate to add outdoors; targets teens