The bill was run in the legislature earlier this year with the intent of terminating public health orders and bringing an “end” to the pandemic. Gov. Cox has been critical of the bill, but he signed it because he believed the legislature had the ability to overrule him and terminate the mask mandate immediately. “We’re headed in the right direction. Again that doesn’t mean that the virus is gone. So we encourage people to continue to take the right kinds of safety precautions. If you’re in big groups inside, still be careful. If you’re not fully vaccinated, wear a mask and protect yourself,” he said. “But the message is: get vaccinated. The reason we set that 1.6 million number is we knew that would be enough to get vaccines, to get us as close to herd immunity as possible. It only works if you get vaccinated.” Instead, the governor negotiated the thresholds with lawmakers. The state has had a fairly high adoption rate for vaccinations, although the pace has started to slow with more supply than demand now. At a recent briefing before a legislative committee, UDOH had said it could be the end of summer before the state achieved “herd immunity.”
Governor Spencer Cox has imposed a mask mandate for all state-owned facilities (including Capitol Hill, DABC stores, Driver License Division offices, etc.) until May 31. After that, each agency can decide if it wishes to continue with a mask requirement.A mask mandate remains in effect for all K-12 schools across Utah.Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson has imposed a mask mandate for all county-owned facilities.Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall has imposed one for all city-owned facilities.Utah Transit Authority has said it will require masks and social distancing on all its buses and trains until the end of September.Private businesses can still require masks and physical distancing of customers. The bill means that there will be no state mandated limits on gatherings and social distancing. It also terminates local orders requiring them, like in Salt Lake City and Grand County. However, there are some exceptions:
In an interview with FOX 13 on Tuesday, Gov. Cox was pleased to hear the news. According to the Utah Department of Health, the state on Tuesday afternoon cleared a key benchmark: More than 1.63 million prime doses of the COVID-19 vaccine allotted. Utah has received 1.65 million doses now. Previously, the state cleared the bill’s thresholds for case rates and COVID-specific intensive care unit hospitalizations.
Stay with fox13now.com and FOX 13 for the latest on this breaking news story. The bill allowed local governments to issue their own mask mandates. Only Grand County did so, arguing that with millions of tourists visiting and a 17-bed hospital in Moab, they cannot handle an outbreak. But under the new law, it will be terminated.
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