SALT LAKE CITY — Despite protests that appear to be escalating, Governor Spencer Cox has no plans to lift the mask mandate for K-12 schools.
The governor's office confirmed to FOX 13 he will not lift the mask mandate with roughly three weeks left in the school year. In fact, Utah's Department of Health revised its public health order on COVID-19 in schools to extend the mask requirement until June 15 or the end of the school year, whichever comes first.
Under the COVID-19 "endgame" law passed by the Utah State Legislature, public health orders have now terminated. That does not apply to the K-12 mask mandate.
Gov. Cox has repeatedly said he would not lift the mandate for K-12 schools. A legislative committee recently took up the issue, but decided to keep the mandate in place.
It hasn't stopped anti-mask groups from pressing the issue at local school board meetings. On Tuesday night, the protests got so disruptive, it shut down the Granite School Board meeting.
Over the weekend, the governor did tell a largely unmasked crowd at the Utah Republican Party convention that while masks would remain until the end of the school year, he did not plan to bring them back in the fall. That brought loud applause.