SLC mayor urges business owners to keep mask policies after the state mandate expires

Mar 19, 2021, 8:03 PM | Updated: Mar 20, 2021, 6:40 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Mayor of Utah’s capital city is asking all business owners to keep their current mask policies in place. She asked them to do this even after the state mask mandate expires on April 10. Small business owners came out to support her.

(Employees of Santo Taco, cooking after the mayor’s press conference on March 19, 2021. Credit: Paul Nelson)

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall made her plea for mask policies outside the doors of Santo Taco on 900 West near 900 South. Owner Alfonso Brito says he had no intention of changing his mask policy when the state mandate expires.

Brito says, “What’s most important is the safety of our community. That’s why we encourage everybody who comes to our restaurant to use a mask.”

Next door to Santo Taco is Break Bread Barber Company. Its owner Ricky Arriola says all his staff and customers will be all masked until health officials say those masks are no longer needed. He says the risk of another COVID-19 spike is too real and he won’t take a chance.

“As a part of the community, we have everyone’s interest to consider.  As long as we’re working on it together, we will see past this,” says Arriola.

Larger companies, like Harmon’s Grocery, are also on board with the mayor’s suggestion. President and CEO Mark Jensen says they want employees to keep wearing the masks at least until they’re all vaccinated. And that could take another eight weeks. Jensen says they don’t like wearing masks either and he hopes people won’t lash out at the employees who try to enforce the store’s policy.

“Really, our story is ‘kill them with kindness.’  It has gotten easier as the pandemic has gone on,” Jensen says.

Mayor Mendenhall says she’s happy that COVID-19 case rates are on the decline, and that businesses are seeing more customers. But, she believes masks should stay on until health experts say otherwise. She believes Salt Lake County’s mask ordinance went a long way to prevent the spread of the virus and to make people feel comfortable enough to go out.
“Mask wearing is still vital. We’re not done,” Mendenhall says.
Would she enact a citywide mask policy after the state mandate expires? Mendenhall says that’s something she’s speaking with city attorneys about.
“It’s different than the way we would have had to request permission in the past, as you know,” she says. “Hopefully, we’re not going to be faced with the need to put in a local mandate, but it’s an option that I’ll keep on the table.”


Masks still required at Intermountain hospitals after statewide mandate expires

Utah counties consider implementing their own mask mandates after April 10th

How to schedule a vaccination appointment before sign ups starts on March 24th

We want to hear from you.

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


Marijuana grows at Tryke Companies Utah's medical cannabis cultivation facility in Tooele...

Michael Camit

Ironing out Utah’s Medical Cannabis Program

Medical marijuana is one of Utah's most regulated substances, but lawmakers are still trying to iron out the wrinkles in the program.

1 day ago

North American hospitals are seeing a major increase -- 416% over the last two decades -- in teen m...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Decades-long study shows increase in eating disorders among young males

The study showed hospitalizations for young males with eating disorders were up 139%, and even higher in young teens.

1 day ago

Containers holding frozen embryos and sperm are stored in liquid nitrogen at a fertility clinic in ...

Jessica Lowell

The future of IVF in Utah following the Alabama Supreme Court embryo ruling

One expert says they won't know if Utah would interpret its wrongful death statute the same way Alabama did until a case came up .

1 day ago

Doctors analyze a screening of a colon...

Don Brinkerhoff

Younger colon cancer deaths are increasing significantly

Colon cancer deaths are rising and people are dying at a much younger age according to the American Cancer Society.

2 days ago

Rep. Tyler Clancy, R-Provo, speaks about HB261 at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 19,...

Aimee Cobabe

Lawmaker wants to increase maximum amount of time for involuntary civil commitments

Utah lawmakers are supporting a bill to increase the maximum amount of time for involuntary civil commitments.

2 days ago

woman with a therapeutic device on her head to treat depression...


A brain pacemaker helped a woman with crippling depression. It may soon be available to more people

Researchers say deep brain stimulation, or DBS — could eventually help many of the nearly 3 million Americans with treatment-resistance depression.

2 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.

SLC mayor urges business owners to keep mask policies after the state mandate expires