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Weber-Morgan Health Dept. opts to work with each county to determine school mask policies

Posted at 9:50 PM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 23:50:59-04

OGDEN, Utah — The Weber-Morgan Health Department discussed masks in schools as most students in the area get set to return to the classroom this week.

The board meeting attracted a crowd so large, many people had to watch it from the hallway.

READ: Lawsuit challenges Utah’s mask mandate bans and restrictions

The agenda allowed for one hour of public comment.

Parents on both sides of the issue stated their case to the board.

“Children need to see faces,” said one mother who opposes a mask mandate. “They need to understand, when they look at their teachers and friends, what those emotions mean.”

On the other side, one father spoke of what he believes are the health benefits of face coverings.

“A mask is no more an infringement of our Constitutional liberty than a prohibition against drunk driving,” he said.

The board was presented with statistics, showing that in Weber County, 101 children between the ages of 5 and 12 -- who unable to get vaccinated -- are currently battling COVID-19. In Morgan County, that number is six.

READ: Summit County will require masks in elementary schools that reach 2% positivity rate

As members discussed their next steps, the overflow crowd in the hallway sang a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The board eventually decided to instruct the department’s director, Brain Cowan, to work with county commissions from both Weber and Morgan counties to develop policies that work for elementary schools in each individual area.

Members decided against a blanket, one-size-fits-all mandate.