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SLC mayor to require face masks inside all city facilities

Salt Lake City Masks.jpg
Posted at 5:00 PM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 19:14:53-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Mayor Erin Mendenhall has signed an executive order mandating face coverings in all city-owned and operated facilities.

The order, which goes into effect on Wednesday, requires all employees to wear masks inside city facilities regardless of their vaccination status. Visitors to city facilities like libraries, recreation centers, the Salt Lake City & County Building or the police station, will also be required to wear a mask.

It follows recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention that people should return to wearing masks indoors in high-transmission areas for COVID-19.

"As a City we’ve always looked to the CDC and our health experts to guide our actions against the spread of COVID-19, and today is no different. It’s clear that cases are rising across the nation and right here in Utah. This measure we are taking is an important step in protecting everyone working or visiting a City facility," the mayor said in a statement.

The order remains in effect until further notice.

Read the mayor's order here:

The Utah State Legislature severely restricted future mask mandates when it passed the "COVID-19 endgame" bill lifting the mask requirements. So Mayor Mendenhall is issuing it where she has authority — over city facilities.

Meanwhile, the Utah State Court system has mandated masks in its courthouses across the state. In an order issued Wednesday afternoon, Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew Durrant said employees and patrons in a courthouse in a high or moderate virus transmission area must wear masks.

"The judiciary continues to be in the unique position of having authority to compel individuals to attend court proceedings in person. Recently, an unvaccinated court team member who did not know they had COVID-19 spread the virus to an individual who was compelled to attend court and to other team members. Now that the courts are operating in the Yellow phase, there will be an increase in the number of individuals who are compelled to come to the court, and the courts cannot assure these individuals that other people they may encounter in the courts are vaccinated," Chief Justice Durrant's order said.

The Utah judicial system is a separate branch of government from the legislature or the governor.

Read the judicial order here: