SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County Health Department will issue an "order of constraint" on Wednesday, requiring children under 12 to wear masks in school.
Dr. Angela Dunn, the department's executive director, announced the expected order Tuesday afternoon.
The state legislature gave county councils the power to override a health department’s mandate, and the Salt Lake County Council has scheduled a meeting for Thursday at 2 p.m. to vote on whether they will do so.
Do you agree with the Salt Lake County Health Department’s order that students under 12 wear masks in public schools?— FOX 13 News Utah (@fox13) August 11, 2021
Ahead of the announcement, parents spent two hours discussing the issue and expressing strong opinions.
“I understand there are parents on both sides. This is a lot that we are all having to navigate,” said Becca Craig of Sandy.
With classes starting soon, parents packed into the Salt Lake County Council work meeting Tuesday.
“A mask never worked,” one woman yelled to the council.
“The good thing about science is that it is true whether you believe it or not,” said Katie Drake of Millcreek.
Tuesday marks the second week in a row the county council took public comment on a mask mandate in school.
“I feel that we should be wearing masks in order to help others stay safe,” said Caroline Drake, an 8th grader living in Millcreek.
“Those of you who are sitting here without a mask on, if you vote for a mask mandate to muzzle my children and you can’t even live up to what you’re voting for, that is not okay,” said Sophia Anderson.
The Salt Lake County Department of Health reported the COVID rate in children is 300 percent higher than this time last year.
Fifty-eight children required hospitalization and one died. Doctors predict that number will grow without prevention measures.
The full public comment session can be viewed below: