GOVERNMENT

Dropping mask mandate in April is too soon, county mayor says

Mar 8, 2021, 12:51 PM | Updated: 4:46 pm
Mayor Jenny Wilson says she is uncomfortable dropping the mask mandate too soon...
FILE: Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, left, in front of the West Side Senior Center, while county workers held signs showing hospitalization rates among age groups. (PHOTO: KSL Newsradio's Paul Nelson)
(PHOTO: KSL Newsradio's Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson is uncomfortable with the notion of dropping the statewide mask mandate in around a month.

Uncomfortable with dropping mask mandate too soon

Speaking to KSL NewsRadio’s Dave and Dujanovic on Monday morning, Mayor Wilson explained that her concern is for teens, children and other people who may still be unvaccinated.

“If we went to senior living right now or an area that had primarily people over 70, we would be with that herd immunity in that one setting,” she said. “It’s a very different story for the rest of us. It certainly is not April 10, in my opinion.”

The comments come after a bill passed on the final day of the state legislature that sets the statewide mask mandate to expire by April 10.

Additionally, it allows for other restrictions to be loosened once various vaccine, case rate and ICU metrics are met.

Making room for ‘best judgment’

Wilson argues that April 10 is too soon to remove the mandate. In her opinion, the state should wait for COVID-19 case rates to drop even lower before dropping the mask mandate.

“What we need is to see these cases to continue to decline,” she said. “There will be the right time when we can remove masks.”

In her opinion, instead of rushing to remove masks in public, the next couple months should be about trusting Utahns to make smart judgments.

“With our own personal interactions, with our friends and family, we can be smart,” Wilson said. “We can look at who has been vaccinated [and] who hasn’t. If we need to protect someone, [we can] stay a little ways away.”

It was announced on Thursday by Governor Spencer Cox that six Utah counties, including Salt Lake, were moving to the “moderate” transmission phase for the virus. Counties in this phase do not have gathering restrictions, as long as individuals are wearing masks.


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet).
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities).
  • Obtain a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

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Dropping mask mandate in April is too soon, county mayor says