The Utah State Legislature and Gov. Spencer Cox negotiated an April 10 end to the statewide mask mandate.
Another step towards “normalcy,” the end of the mandate comes with a few catches as reported in today’s paper — masks will still be worn in schools and for group gatherings over 50.
Businesses may still decide if they want their customers to wear masks and they may enforce their decision by refusing service.
Some businesses have announced they plan to continue their mask requirements for a while. Perhaps until more people are vaccinated and the public gains more confidence in a mask free environment after almost a year of being encouraged, if not required, to wear a mask when in public.
For other businesses April 10 can not come soon enough, the owners and their customers have grown weary of wearing masks.
Over the course of the pandemic masks have taken on both a political and personal relevance. They have been a lightning rod of discussions on social media groups and have even inspired demonstrations and defiance.
Some groups questioned the effectiveness of masks. Others saw mask mandates as a violation of personal freedoms and constitutional rights.
Supporters of masks asserted that while masks may not eliminate all community spread of the virus, they could slow or reduce the spread. National, state, and local health officials asserted and reasserted that masks protect not so much the wearer, but others around them, from possible spread of the virus — especially by unaware asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic COVID-19 positive people.
Whatever your feelings are on masks, we urge everybody to be courteous and kind to others as the state mask mandate comes to an end.
It’s going to take a while for this to all settle down.
People will not be required to wear masks and some will choose not to.
Others may choose to continue to wear masks.
A masked face or a bare face should not become a point for disputations and confrontations. People don’t need to be accosted because of their choice, either way.
Businesses may choose to require masks. Please don’t harass employees that are doing their job enforcing their company’s policy. Of course, if you don’t want to wear a mask, you may take your business elsewhere. At the same time, some people may want to wear a mask even when it isn’t required.
It’s really not anything special, just be polite and civil. We can do this, after all Tooele County isn’t a community of Star Bellied Sneetches.