Utah Gov. Spencer Cox recently announced that the state mask mandate will be lifted on April 10, however some businesses and schools will still require masks.
Cox signed a bill on March 24 passed by the Utah Legislature earlier in March to end the statewide mask mandate on April 10.
House Bill 294, which was nicknamed the “endgame bill,” gets rid of the statewide mask mandate that has been in place since last year.
Prior to settling on the April 10 date, legislators wanted to end the mask mandate sooner.
“Once it became clear that the Legislature planned to end the mask mandate immediately, and with a veto proof majority, our administration worked with them to push the date back to get as many people vaccinated as possible,” said Jenny Johnson, Utah Department of Health’s public information specialist.
However, community members shouldn’t be too quick to throw away or burn their masks, she advised.
“With April 10th looming ahead, and a lot of confusion around mask requirements,” said Johnson. “On April 10th, the statewide mask requirements end for most public places. There seems to be a lot of confusion about this and a lot of misinformation being spread.”
The mask mandate for K-12 schools will remain in place until June 15, according to Johnson.
“Local officials, like a school board or county council, do not have the legal authority to end the mask requirement in schools before this date,” she said.
Public health officials asked the Legislature and the Legislature agreed to keep a mask requirement in place for several reasons such as, the vaccine was not authorized for anyone younger than 18, and children can get COVID-19, not feel sick, and transmit the illness to others.
Mask requirements will also remain in place for group gatherings of 50 or more people until July 1, according to Johnson.
But, even after the state mandate ends, any business can require individuals to wear masks and if they don’t, the business can refuse service to them.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Tooele County has had 6,947 positive cases of COVID-19, according to a report by the Utah Department of Health.
The county has also had 213 hospitalizations and 40 deaths from the virus.
On April 1, when the Tooele County Health Department released their latest COVID-19 situational report, there had been 6,312 positive cases of the virus, 212 hospitalizations, and 40 deaths.
The State of Utah has had 387,514 positive cases of the virus since the beginning of the pandemic, 15,625 hospitalizations, and 2,133 deaths, according to the report by the Utah Department of Health.
2,413,193 individuals in the state have been tested for the virus and 976,434 individuals in the state have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine.