SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City School District will not be lifting the requirement for face coverings in its schools in the final week of the 2020-21 school year.
Last week, Gov. Spencer Cox announced that he will end the K-12 mask mandate — but only for the last week of the school year.
He added that masks are "still encouraged," however, and gave local school districts the option to keep their mask requirements in place if they want to.
SLCSD confirmed to FOX 13 Tuesday evening that it will continue requiring masks through their last day of school, June 7.
BREAKING NEWS: @slcschools says it will CONTINUE the mask mandate for K-12 until the end of this school year. Summer school TBD. @GovCox's repeal of the statewide K-12 mask mandate did allow local districts to continue, if they wished to. @fox13 #utpol #Utah
— Ben Winslow (@BenWinslow) May 19, 2021
“We’ve come too far to let go of proven safety practices like mask-wearing with just a few days left in the school year,” Interim Superintendent Larry Madden said in a press release. “While we’ve been able to offer vaccinations to our educators, staff, and some of our students, very few of our students have been vaccinated thus far. The risk is too great, especially when we consider those in our school communities with pre-existing health conditions or who have family members at home who are high risk for contracting COVID-19. The last thing we want to do is increase the risk in our city just as school is about to let out for the summer."
Whether masks will be required during the summer term is still to be determined.
When the 2021-22 school year begins, Utah schools may not be allowed to issue mask requirements. A bill that would ban such future mandates in all Utah schools will be considered Wednesday in a special session of the state legislature.