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Mixed reactions from parents, medical experts after decision to overturn school mask order

Posted at 10:00 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 00:00:06-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Reactions are mixed after Salt Lake County Commission’s decision to strike down a health order requiring kindergarten through sixth grade students to wear masks.

“I’m excited. We got one in the win column,” said Kish North.

"I’m so grateful I can keep my kids in school. I don’t have to pull them. That was my first thought. Yes, my kids can go to school,” said Sophia Anderson.

Read - Salt Lake County Council votes 6-3 to overturn school mask order

A group of medical experts, education leaders and elected officials express disappointment in the council’s decision.

“I hope to God that we are going to take two steps backward while we just took one step forward,” said Salt Lake School Board member Mohamed Baayd.

At a press conference after the vote, the group praised Salt Lake County Department of Health executive director Dr. Angela Dunn for her courage to suggest the health order. They worry infection rates will skyrocket in the next few weeks.

Read - Utah COVID cases jump by 1,243 Thursday; 3 new deaths

“We have to put masks on our children. It’s not about freedom, it’s not about USA. It’s about science and it’s about protecting the community,” Erika Tse, a West Valley physician’s assistant.

While there is no mandate, doctors suggest students still mask up in schools. They also urge those eligible to get vaccinated.