SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s pandemic “endgame” law cancels the statewide mask mandate Saturday, and it’s still unclear whether local governments will enact their own requirements.
State lawmakers want all pandemic-related public health measures to end once three thresholds are met relating to intensive care unit beds, vaccinations and case counts. But in the meantime, they’re granting county legislative bodies, like commissions or councils, some leeway to take their own limited action. In Salt Lake County, council members have tentatively scheduled a special meeting on Friday to determine whether their mask mandate will continue.
Mayor Jenny Wilson, a Democrat, enacted the state’s first face covering requirement last June, which she credited with a correlating decline in cases. But under HB294, the mayor can’t unilaterally take action on masks. She’ll need a recommendation from the health department director and approval from the Republican-controlled council.
“Let’s not walk off the court before the shot goes in. Let’s not lose the game in the eighth inning and let’s not spike the ball before the end zone,” Wilson said in a video posted to social media Monday night, using sports analogies to illustrate how close the county is to ending the pandemic.
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