HEALTH

School mask mandates considered by other local health departments

Aug 11, 2021, 5:55 PM

school mask mandate...

FILE: Students at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in So. Salt Lake wear masks as they get on a bus to go home after their first day of school on Aug. 24, 2020. Photo credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — A school mask mandate for kids younger than 12 has been recommended by health officials in Salt Lake County.  So does that mean other local health departments will follow Salt Lake County’s lead?  It’s a possibility. 

Those who spoke with KSL Newsradio said they have to speak with a lot of stakeholders before they make any kind of decision about recommending a school mask mandate.  For instance, Weber-Morgan Health Department Spokesperson Lori Buttars said they’re speaking with educators, hospital administrators, and concerned citizens about the possible impact. 

RELATED:  Salt Lake County Council likely to overturn mask mandate, chair says

Residents are evenly split for and against a school mask mandate, Buttars said, at least according to the email they’ve received. 

Even though a school mask mandate hasn’t been proposed for their jurisdiction, Buttars said it hasn’t been ruled out, either.

“We’re looking at keeping our schools open in the safest, least disruptive way,” she said.

Officials from the Tooele County Health Department, Davis County Health Department and the Bear River Health Department all told KSL that the discussions on proposing a mask mandate are “ongoing.”  Meanwhile, Buttars said they’ve set up COVID-19 vaccination clinics in schools, and are asking everyone who hasn’t been vaccinated to get their shots.

RELATED: CDC urges COVID vaccines during pregnancy as delta surges

“We still encourage people to go there.  We’ve got our own clinic open and we’re doing some additional outreach in the community,” Buttars said.

While the Salt Lake County Health Department has recommended a mandate in schools, for kids ages 12 and younger, some advocacy groups want a wider order that covers more students.  The Utah Public Health Association has called for universal masking in schools, even among students who have been vaccinated.  Spokesperson Carrie Butler said there is ample evidence showing mask mandates limit the spread of any virus.

“We saw the cases and the hospitalizations go down, particularly in Salt Lake County when we had a county-wide mask mandate,” Butler said.

Their group is also calling for state health officials to reinstate mask-wearing policies for indoor settings all across Utah.  Plus, they want the state to increase funding for more vaccination clinics.  Butler claims getting the vaccine isn’t as convenient as many people believe.

“It is really inconvenient to have to stop what you’re doing go to someplace and get jabbed in the arm,” 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).
  • Get 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

We want to hear from you.

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

Health

FILE -- A comfort dog waits for its owner at Salt Lake City International Airport. Experts warn to ...

Britt Johnson

Traveling puts pets at greater risk for canine influenza

Experts warn that now is the time to get pet dogs immunized against canine influenza. 

5 days ago

People present their pets during an animal fashion show....

Mariah Maynes

Here are the health benefits of having pets

According to the USU Extension, interacting with and caring for pets can have positive impacts on your health.

5 days ago

(Canva)...

Michelle Lee

Boost your immune system with good nutrition

Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with Functional Medicine Nutritionist Karin Reiter to learn how nutrition affects our immune system.

7 days ago

An apple pie surrounded by apples....

Kennedy Camarena

Study shows how processed foods aren’t so great for you

It's always been a pretty well-known fact that processed foods are not that great for people. Now, there's a new study to prove it.

8 days ago

FILE: A two-year-old, plays with dogs outside their home in Ogden on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023. (Megan N...

Britt Johnson

The spring season leads to increased cases of canine parvovirus

Parvo is especially dangerous for young dogs. It has the potential to wreak havoc on their digestive system.

9 days ago

Image of a teenager using a cell phone between classes at Cyprus High School in Magna on Friday, Ja...

Curt Gresseth and Kyle Remund

Norway’s ban on cellphones in middle schools shows positive results. Will Utah do the same?

A brain performance specialist discusses a study that found improvements in girls' grades and a dropoff in school bullying for both boys and girls after Norway banned cellphones in middle schools.

11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

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.

School mask mandates considered by other local health departments