Salt Lake City to extend mask mandate within city limits

Apr 7, 2021, 12:11 PM | Updated: 7:45 pm

salt lake city mask mandate...

Mayor Mendenhall extends mask mandate within city limits. (SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall)

(SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall)

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City is not following the footsteps of Salt Lake County and will extend its mask mandate, despite the lift of the statewide mask mandate on April 10. 

Mayor Erin Mendenhall called masks a “life-saving measure” during a news conference in Salt Lake City Wednesday. Additionally, she called the move to lift the mask requirement “pre-mature” and said Utah’s marginalized communities will be impacted most by the lifted order. 

Salt Lake City mask mandate to continue

In response to the removal of the mandate, Mendenhall is extending the required use of masks throughout the city, in spite of a bill passed by Utah lawmakers prohibiting cities to instate the policy. 

She said the decision to keep the mandate in place comes from “data and not deadlines,” outlining only “25.3% of Rose Park and 23.4% of Glendale residents have received at least one vaccine dose, compared to 49.3% of those in the Avenues and 52.5% of the East Bench.”

Mendenhall stated she has the power to extend the mask mandate under emergency powers and does not conflict with the recent pandemic “endgame” bill. 

The state’s requirement may end April 10, but nothing will change that day here in #slc,” Mendenhall tweeted Tuesday. 


Pandemic “Endgame” bill sponsor responds 

Representative Paul Ray (R-Clearfield), the sponsors behind the pandemic “endgame” bill states the move made by Mayor Mendenhall is an overstep.

“It [the bill] says only counties working with their local health department has the ability to do that [extend the mask mandate],” Ray told KSL NewsRadio. “Even the governor can’t do that. It’s only counties.” 

Mendenhall stated she has the authority to prolong the required use of masks due to Salt Lake City being under an emergency order, giving her executive power to make the decision. 

Since Mendenhall is a city and not a county mayor, Ray says she does not have the legal power to enforce a mask mandate citywide. 

“When you write legislation, you don’t have to list an exclusion when you say that only a certain body has the ability to do that [extend the mask mandate],” said Ray. “But the fact of the matter is, the bill says the only the county can do that.” 

If Mendenhall follows through with the order, there are legal actions the state could take against the mayor.

“Obviously, the state could sue,” said Ray. “I don’t know if we want to do that or not.”

Additionally, Ray questioned how Mendenhall would enforce the mandate, calling her extended order “toothless.”

“But what are they going to do when somebody doesn’t wear a mask? Nothing,” said Ray. “So, there’s nothing she can do here. Her executive order, whatever you want to call it, is toothless. There’s nothing she can do.” 

Mendenhall responds to “Endgame” legislation sponsor

“This is about data and the facts as they are,” Mendenhall told KSL Newsradio on the Jeff Caplan Afternoon News program on Wednesday.  And she said that HB294, the so-called “Endgame” legislation,” relates only to health orders. 

“It doesn’t say anything about any city mayor’s ability to exercise their emergency powers to protect life in an emergency,” she said.

Mendenhall told KSL Newsradio that the Salt Lake City Attorney’s Office has analyzed her extended mandate.

“We feel very confident in our ability to exercise our legal authority,” she said.


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.
  • Seek out the COVID-19 vaccine.

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

We want to hear from you.

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

All News

The second episode of The Letter's second season, "Ripple Effect," details the second man killed in...

Amy Donaldson

Sense of dread precedes second 1982 Millcreek Canyon murder

The second episode of The Letter's second season, "Ripple Effect," details the second man killed in a double murder outside a Millcreek Canyon restaurant in 1982. 

40 minutes ago

Columbia University students hold a protest in support of Palestinians, during the ongoing conflict...

Matt Egan, Chris Boyette, Shimon Prokupecz and Nic F. Anderson, CNN

Columbia University main campus classes will be hybrid until semester ends; NYU students, faculty arrested during protests

Columbia University, the epicenter of pro-Palestinian protests at US college campuses in recent days, says all classes at its main campus will be hybrid until the spring semester ends. 

8 hours ago

Actor Rain Wilson arrives at the Cinema for Peace benefit for the J/P Haitian Relief Organization i...

Emma Keddington

Rainn Wilson speaking at Weber State graduation, how much did it cost the school?

OGDEN, Utah — Weber State University is shelling out big bucks to have Rainn Wilson, also known as Dwight Schrute from “The Office,” speak at their graduation commencement on Friday. $125,000 to be exact. Weber State public relations manager Bryan Magaña said while expensive, this serves a higher purpose. The choice to bring in Rainn […]

9 hours ago

FBI agent Douglas Hart, right, testifies Monday about texts between Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Da...


‘Angels are angry’: FBI agent describes ‘manipulating’ texts between Lori and Chad Daybell

BOISE — Jurors in the Chad Daybell murder trial heard testimony Monday from some key people in Lori Vallow Daybell’s life, and from an FBI agent who described “manipulative” texts between the couple. Colby Ryan, Lori Daybell’s oldest child, took deep breaths and some time from the witness stand before identifying photos of his sister, […]

10 hours ago

Volunteers gather at Pedal and Pick at Jordan Park in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 20, 2024. P...

Mariah Maynes

How did April 22 become Earth Day?

20 million Americans took part in the first Earth Day in 1970. Nowadays, the event is a global affair.

11 hours ago

Richfield City police say the male driver of a utility task vehicle died of injuries he sustained a...

Simone Seikaly

Crash kills utility task vehicle driver in Richfield

Richfield City police said a crash between a utility task vehicle and a car ejected the UTV driver, who died of his injuries.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

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.

Salt Lake City to extend mask mandate within city limits