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Salt Lake Co. councilwoman wants to lift all county mask requirements

Moab masks
Posted at 5:38 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 22:29:09-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY — A member of the Salt Lake County Council is proposing an end to the county’s mask requirements in all county facilities and programs.

Councilwoman Dea Theodore, District 6, said she feels like the pandemic is coming to an end and it is time to stop requiring masks.

READ: Salt Lake Co. to require masks in gov't buildings after mandate ends

“Our county health director back in April did not recommend a county-wide mask mandate. I feel it is time we are able to get rid of masks in our county facilities as well,” she said.

The idea of not requiring masks in county-operated kids' sports and other places that involve children who aren’t eligible to be vaccinated yet is troubling to West Valley City resident and registered nurse Angela Keddington.

“It would be unfortunate to let COVID gain some momentum now and turn what was a pandemic into a ‘kid-demic,'” she said.

In the last four weeks, there has been a concerning trend among COVID-19 cases among young people, Salt Lake County Health Department executive director Gary Edwards said.

“Now, the 10-19 age group has 30 percent more cases than the 20-29 year-olds,” he said.

READ: FDA authorizes Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in 12 to 15-year-olds

There is not enough of a spike to support requiring masks, Theodore said.

“Oh no, I am not an anti-masker at all. It makes sense when necessary. It is just to the end and I feel like we are pretty much at the end of it,” she said.

Business owners could continue to require masks and people could wear masks if they please, the councilwoman added.

But Edwards says not enough of Utah’s population is vaccinated for people to completely stop wearing masks.

“Certainly, in some places, a mask continues to make sense," he said. "Indoor public places, certainly [the] public health recommendation is 'wear a mask,'" he said.

The issue is expected to be on next week's county council agenda.