Health Officials Urge Utahns to Keep Wearing Masks
The Utah Department of Health encourages Utahns to continue wearing masks, even after the statewide mask requirements end in most public places on April 10.
The Utah State Legislature passed House Bill 294 in March. Most people are familiar with the part of the bill that says the state can no longer require people to wear masks after April 10. However, the mask requirement stays in place for:
- Group gatherings of 50 or more people where physical distancing is not possible—until certain metrics outlined in the bill are met.
- K-12 schools through the end of the 2020-2021 school year (June 15).
- Private businesses may keep mask requirements in place to protect employees and customers.
- County legislative bodies may also have their own countywide mask requirements.
“Until more people have a chance to get vaccinated, we urge people to continue to wear masks in public places and around those who haven’t been vaccinated. We’ve come so far and are so close to returning to normal. We ask for your patience and cooperation a little while longer,” said Richard Saunders, executive director at the UDOH.
Public health officials asked the Legislature to keep the school mask requirement in place for the following reasons:
- No vaccine is currently authorized for anyone younger than 16.
- Not every adult in the school setting has been vaccinated.
- Children can get very sick from COVID and have serious long-term effects.
- Children can get COVID, not feel sick, and transmit the illness to other people who aren’t vaccinated yet.
Additionally, school quarantine guidance states students and staff must quarantine at home if they were not wearing masks at the time of exposure to the virus at school or extracurricular activities. The Utah Department of Health wants to make sure students can continue to participate in extracurricular activities and do not lose the opportunity for in-person learning. We encourage everyone to continue to wear a mask, to keep students safe and allow them to continue participating in these important milestones in their lives.