PROVO, Utah — Utah County's face mask mandate has expired, but it does not mean residents no longer have to wear coverings in public to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Commissioner Bill Lee posted on Twitter that the commission had rescinded the controversial mandate. He had opposed the mandate.
While technically true, it does not mean that Utah County has no mask mandate. The Utah County Health Department's order technically expired on Monday. Governor Gary Herbert and Utah's Department of Health recently re-worked the state's risk and restriction levels. Under the new guidelines, Utah County remains a high transmission level county. That carries with it restrictions including a limit on how many people can gather (less than 10) and a mask requirement.
The Utah County Health Department acknowledged the state's authority superseded their own.
Termination of Public Health Order due to to State of Utah transitioning from phased guidelines to the COVID-19 Transmission Index and assigned Utah County to the high level of transmission. https://t.co/VzcPKxiQYf pic.twitter.com/VigeFmARl8— UtahCountyHealthDept (@UCHD) October 20, 2020
By repealing it, the Utah County Commission also sidestepped a potentially nasty political battle. A group of residents had been seeking a referendum on the mask mandate. With it repealed, there is nothing for voters to decide as everything is now under a state public health order.