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Grand Co. schools extend COVID-19 mask mandate

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Posted at 11:42 AM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 13:42:34-04

MOAB, Utah  — Grand County has extended its emergency order requiring face masks in K-12 schools.

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In a letter to parents, the Grand County School District announced the emergency order had been extended until Nov. 9 after consulting with the Southeast Utah Public Health Department and the Grand County Commission. However, the district said, the order may expire if the COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for children aged 5-11.

"The new mask mandate contains language in part four that explains that 60 days after a Covid-19 vaccine is available for 5-11 year olds, the SEUHD will no longer authorize a preK-12 indoor mandatory mask mandate. The 60 days allows for parents who choose for their child(ren) to be vaccinated enough time for both doses to be administered. It is widely believed that the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for 5-11 year olds will receive Emergency Use Authorization sometime before the end of October," the district said in the letter.

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So far, Grand County and Salt Lake City are the only areas with a school mask mandate. Under Utah law, a local health department can issue an order requiring face masks in schools. However, a county commission or council can overturn it. That law has sparked a lawsuit by a group of parents who argue that the county government bodies are overriding public health choices and putting their children at risk of contracting COVID-19.