GRAND COUNTY, Utah — Grand County announced Monday that students in kindergarten through sixth grade will be required to wear masks while inside for the first month of the upcoming school year.
The mandate was issued by the South East Utah District Health Department and is supported by the Grand County Commission, Grand County School District and Moab Regional Hospital, according to the announcement.
It will go into effect on the first day of school Thursday and will remain in place for 30 days. During that time period, officials say the county's case rates will be "closely monitored," and the mandate may be renewed if deemed necessary.
"Once a vaccine for 5-12-year-olds is approved, and students and their parents have the opportunity to decide whether to receive the vaccine or not, it is likely there will be no further mask mandates," the joint statement from the involved parties read.
Grand County includes a large portion of southeastern Utah, including Moab.
Last week, the Salt Lake County Health Department issued a similar mandate for students under the age of 12, but the county council voted to overturn it. The Grand County Commission, which would also have the power to overturn the health department's mandate, supports it, however.
"By enacting a mandatory indoor K-6 mask mandate, we are collectively choosing to set GCSD students on a positive path so that they can continue to benefit from in-person schooling, and even more importantly, to have increased protection from a deadly virus," Monday's announcement said.