SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County will not extend a mask mandate that is scheduled to end this weekend. The move comes on the recommendation of county health director Gary Edwards.
Utah's statewide mask mandate will end Saturday and Edwards says based on the data it appears safe to lift the mandate.
However, when asked Wednesday afternoon about the recent numbers in Salt Lake City plateauing, and even rising in certain areas, Edwards said he had not seen data from the county and state's largest city "over the past few days" before making his recommendation.
Masks will still be required in the county and state's K-12 schools.
On Tuesday, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said employees and visitors will still be required to wear masks inside county buildings and facilities even after the mandate ends.
County officials applauded the recommendation of Edwards, who said he wants the public's focus to be on vaccinations.
“The data is looking very positive. New cases of COVID-19 are decreasing, and each week Salt Lake County is vaccinating tens of thousands of residents, bringing us closer to the end of this pandemic," said Salt Lake County Council Chair Steve DeBry. "I would encourage Salt Lake County residents to continue to take action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 so we don’t experience what happened last year. I ask that as a community we respect those who want to continue to wear a mask and businesses that may require it.”
Many businesses have said they will continue to enforce masks in their locations. Harmon's, Intermountain Healthcare and the Utah Jazz said visitors and employees will still be required to wear masks.
“That’s their right as the property owner or business owner to require their patrons to do so and if you don’t wanna do that, then go somewhere else,” said Salt Lake County council chairman Steve DeBry.
"We would just ask our residents that you please be respectful when you go into a business that is asking you to wear a mask, please do so respectfully,” said Salt Lake County council member Aimee Winder Newton.