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Salt Lake County Councilmembers vote to uphold indoor mask mandate

Jan 13, 2022, 4:25 PM | Updated: Jan 14, 2022, 9:09 am
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SALT LAKE CITY — With a vote of 5 to 4, the Salt Lake County Council voted on Thursday to uphold an indoor mask mandate put in place by the Salt Lake County Health Department last week.

The vote by the Council let stand the 30-day mask order recommended by Salt Lake County Health Department Executive Director Dr. Angela Dunn and accepted by Mayor Jenny Wilson on Friday, January 7.

The order, #2022-01, went into effect on Saturday, Jan. 8th. It is planned to be in force until 5 p.m. on Feb. 7, 2022. It requires people in Salt Lake County, regardless of vaccination status or past COVID-19 infection, to wear well-fitting masks when indoors or standing in line outdoors in public.

“Salt Lake County currently has nearly 47,000 reported cases of COVID-19 over the last 14 days, our largest number in the pandemic,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson in a statement.

“Our schools are in disarray due to such large spread and our economy is being impacted by staffing shortages due to active COVID-19 cases. Most importantly, high case counts lead to high hospitalizations and the loss of life,” said Mayor Wilson.

Also on Thursday, Salt Lake area high schools announced they are moving to online learning. Beginning Friday, East, Highland, and West High students will learn remotely through Wednesday. 

The school districts say that the ‘Test to Stay’ protocols are not an option right now because there aren’t enough tests available.

Hours before the vote, the Utah Department of Health reported a new record high of 12,990 cases of COVID-19 , for a total of 739,206 since the pandemic began. 

In addition, the agency reported 638 Utahns required hospitalization for COVID-19 on Thursday. Another 7 Utahns died as the result of coronavirus, ranging in age from 25 to over 85. 

Other reading:


  • How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus (updated Jan. 2022)

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

  • Get vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, get your booster shot.
  • Wear a mask. Here are the current CDC recommendations (as of Jan. 12, 2022):
    • People aged 2 years and older who are not vaccinated should wear a face covering when indoors.
    • When outdoors, masks are generally not needed unless you are in a crowded setting.
    • Even if they are vaccinated, people with weakened immune systems may still be at risk and should wear a mask indoors.
    • Masks should be worn indoors in public in high transmission areas.
    • Masks that cover your nose and mouth are required to be worn on planes, busses, trains, and other public transportation when traveling into, within, or out of the United States.
  • Stay six feet away from others (social distancing) especially if you are at high risk.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Testing. There are several types of tests for you to use if you suspect you are sick. These include viral and antibody tests, conducted by others or by you in your home (self-tests). 
    • If you test positive, you should isolate. The CDC now recommends a five-day isolation period, followed by five days of mask-wearing when around others.

Local resources

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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Salt Lake County Councilmembers vote to uphold indoor mask mandate