MILLCREEK, Utah — Saying she wishes Gov. Spencer Cox had been allowed to keep a statewide mask mandate in place, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson announced Tuesday that she will still require anyone who enters a county building or facility to wear a mask, even after the mandate is lifted.
"We need to continue to wear masks," said Wilson defiantly.
The state's mask mandate is scheduled to end Saturday, but each county is reviewing how it will proceed moving forward. In Salt Lake County, people must wear a mask when entering government buildings and performing arts venues.
"It's important that I protect my staff and teams," said Wilson. "It's important that our patrons come, children included, but safely."
Martin Jensen, the director of Salt Lake County Parks & Recreation, appreciated the move.
“We want to make sure that our residents and our employees are safe when they come and use our facilities," he said. “Leaving the mask mandate in place allows us to get a little bit farther down the road.”
Jensen added that while the face-covering requirement was difficult to enforce at times, they got through it.
"It was a little bit of a challenge, but people overall have been very supportive and understanding," he said. “For the most part, people have been very compliant and willing to wear a mask.”
Wilson added that she hoped the politicians who moved to end the mandate play a role in keeping people in masks.
"I hope that they step up and back up the science and at least share with people, like I am, that it makes perfect sense to continue, and I hope the governor does the same," Wilson said.
Citing that only one-third of Utah's population has been fully vaccinated, Wilson laid out that the state is not in the clear from COVID-19. The mayor also shared information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that show a possible new surge could be on the horizon.
"Person to Person" positivity rates in Utah have risen over the last week.
In a social media post Monday, Wilson continued to urge residents to wear masks while out, saying “Let’s not lose the game in the 8th inning, and let’s not spike the ball before the end zone."
Watch the full press conference here: