SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's statewide mask mandate will come to an end Saturday, but the Utah Department of Health urges people in Utah to continue wearing masks to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“Until more people have a chance to get vaccinated, we urge people to continue to wear masks in public places and around those who haven’t been vaccinated. We’ve come so far and are so close to returning to normal. We ask for your patience and cooperation a little while longer,” said UDOH executive director Richard Saunders in a news release.
In March, the Utah Legislature approved House Bill 294, known colloquially as the "COVID endgame bill." The bill says the state can no longer require people to wear masks after April 10, except in some circumstances. Governor Spencer Cox signed the bill on March 24.
The statewide mask mandate will remain in effect in the following situations:
- Group gatherings of 50 or more people where physical distancing is not possible—until certain metrics outlined in the bill are met.
- K-12 schools through the end of the 2020-2021 school year (June 15).
- Private businesses may keep mask requirements in place to protect employees and customers.
- County legislative bodies may also have their own countywide mask requirements.
The mask will remain in effect in schools because there are no vaccines approved for people younger than 16, not all adults are vaccinated, some children can get very sick from COVID-19 and others can get and transmit the disease without feeling sick.