EDUCATION

Gov. Cox says masks still needed in schools, some parent groups upset

Apr 2, 2021, 7:19 AM | Updated: 7:22 am
covid 19 utah...
FILE -- Neal Hendrickson, a former state legislator and current school bus driver, demonstrates how he sanitizes a school bus to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during a press conference about school bus safety outside of Granger High School in West Valley City on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Governor Spencer Cox says Utah’s K-12 students need to continue wearing masks at schools across the state. The governor is calling it necessary until more Utahns are vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Masks are still a must at schools

Speaking at a press conference Thursday, Governor Cox explained his reasoning by insinuating that students can still transmit the virus and it’s masks that are allowing kids to get out of the house.

“Masks are one of the ways that we have been able to make that happen… to get kids back in school,” he explained.

He says the elimination of masks in schools would likely result in many kids being sent home due to transmission of the virus.

“If we were to remove masks there are a whole bunch of vulnerable kids and vulnerable parents who would have to take their kids out of school,” he says. “We don’t want that to happen.”

Receiving pushback from some parent groups

Not surprisingly, the announcement was met with mixed reactions from parents.

Some organizations, like “Utah Parents United” and “SeeMySmile.org” continue to call for the mask mandate to be lifted in schools.

Specifically, Utah Parents United took to their Facebook page in an effort to organize potential protests later this month.

BIG NEWS!
We are so excited to announce
SEE MY SMILE

On APRIL 12th, parents across the state will be walking their…

Posted by Utah Parents United on Friday, March 26, 2021

They are calling for rallies in several school districts across the state on April 10, while also urging parents to send their kids to school without a mask on April 12.

“The time is NOW to end our children’s suffering!” reads a post.

Elsewhere, Heidi Matthews with the Utah Education Association is supporting the governor’s decision. She says masks have worked wonders to this point and it would be foolish to ditch the protective measures before the state’s vaccine rollout is complete.

“We can see a finish line. Let’s just stay strong until we get there,” she tells the Deseret News.

The statewide mask mandate is set to be lifted on April 10, although a mandate for students could stay in place through June 15, according to the Utah Department of Health. 

New “return to work” initiative for Utahns who lost jobs due to COVID-19 pandemic


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is 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.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • 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.)
  • Get a flu shot.
  • Get vaccinated.

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

 

Today’s Top Stories

Education

USU Aviation The Utah State University Utah Women & Leadership Project (UWLP) created a series of r...
Michele Rowe

Flight instructor, student, die in crash of USU Aviation plane

Officials said a teacher and student affiliated with USU aviation were killed in a plane crash near Wellsville.
17 hours ago
USU Aviation The Utah State University Utah Women & Leadership Project (UWLP) created a series of r...
Waverly Golden

Utah State University reports on Latina women’s status in Utah

The Utah State University Utah Women & Leadership Project researched disparities between Latina Women and all women in Utah.
9 days ago
Utah Valley University March 23, 2020.  (Gabriel Mayberry/ UVU Marketing)...
Martha Harris

Utah adults struggling in their civics knowledge, a UVU study said

Utah adults get an almost failing grade in their civics knowledge, according to a study from Utah Valley University.
17 days ago
The Utah State Board of Education building. Utah schools give out a risk prevention survey every tw...
Aimee Cobabe

Utah State Board of Education drops support for risk prevention survey

Utah schools have given kids a health and risk prevention survey since 2003, but the State Board of Education recently pulled its support for the survey.
17 days ago
utah student achievement COVID-19...
Simone Seikaly

Utah student performance knocked down during COVID-19 restrictions

A review of multiple Utah student performance exams found "significant impacts" in mathematics achievement across grades.
23 days ago
A student was arrested after bringing a gun and ammunition to East High School....
ELLIE COOK and MARK JONES

East High students walkout in support of gun control, honor Texas shooting victims

Students at East High held a walkout Friday morning in support of more gun control and to honor the victims of the recent school shooting in Texas.
29 days 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?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Gov. Cox says masks still needed in schools, some parent groups upset