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Restraining order sought in K-12 mask lawsuit

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Posted at 5:25 PM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 19:25:05-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A group of parents suing the state and Salt Lake County over restrictions on mask mandates in schools is asking a judge to grant a restraining order.

If granted by the judge, the order would effectively block Utah's laws prohibiting mask mandates.

"Plaintiffs' minor children cannot attend public school setting due to increased risk of COVID-19; and Plaintiffs, by virtue of their underlying learning disabilities and developmental delays, cannot meaningfully engage in remote learning," their attorney, Greg Skordas, wrote in a motion filed late Friday.

Third District Court Judge Vernice Trease has yet to schedule a hearing on the restraining order request. It could happen next week.

FOX 13 first reported earlier this week that a group of parents sued Governor Spencer Cox and Salt Lake County over the laws that severely restricting the ability to implement mask mandates in Utah's schools. They argue that their at-risk children are being denied their right to an education under the state constitution.

The Utah State Legislature banned mask mandates, but did allow local health departments to issue mask orders. However, a county commission or council could vote to override them. That happened when the Salt Lake County Health Department sought a mask mandate for K-6 students who cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Grand County's Commission granted one put in place by the Southeastern Utah Public Health Department. Summit County intends to issue one if COVID-19 cases in schools exceed 2% of a population.