Ten Washington County mayors, 2 commissioners sign pro-mask declaration

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah, Aug. 5, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A group of 10 Washington County mayors and two commissioners has signed a declaration endorsing the wearing of face masks in public as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A non-binding proclamation issued Wednesday encourages citizens to wear face coverings in all indoor public spaces, and outdoors when a physical distance of six feet can’t be maintained.

The document reads:

Whereas, many misconceptions about COVID-19 exist regarding its symptoms, mortality and morbidity rates, treatment and prevention measures that can be taken to reduce the transmission rate of COVID-19; and

Whereas, though COVID-19 is often associated with flu related symptoms such as fever or cough, COVID-19 has killed 4 times as many people as flu this year; and

Whereas, to date, there is no cure for COVID-19, no proven preventative medication, and no vaccine will likely be available until next year; and

Whereas, while many of those who become infected will not experience symptoms, many others will die or suffer severe complications requiring our local medical resources, including Dixie Regional Medical Center, to mobilize to care for all patients, retraining medical staff to work in areas unfamiliar to them, restricting the ability to provide important but non-urgent and elective surgical procedures, and severely limiting our ability as a community to care for other problems such as traumas, heart attacks, and strokes; and

Whereas, we know that people can become infected and transmit COVID-19 even if they have no symptoms, and the rapidly growing number of COVID-19 infections is placing a strain on our healthcare system and places us at risk of having to shut down our economy once again; and

Whereas, there are many in our community who are at risk for serious medical complications or death from COVID-19 infections including those suffering from chronic lung disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and some forms of asthma; and

Whereas, experience has proven that hand washing and physical distancing alone are not enough and, despite earlier confusion and news reports to the contrary, the science now shows that wearing face coverings over the mouth and nose may decrease transmission of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19; and

Whereas, the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads most easily in shared indoor spaces where ventilation varies, and physical distancing is not possible, raising the risk of exposures while visiting or working in such places; and

Whereas, in order to decrease the transmission of this infection in our community, the practice of wearing face coverings will help reduce the transmission of COVID-19, allowing schools to open in the fall and remain open throughout the school year, and keeping our economy open and strong; and

Whereas, when in indoor public spaces, including offices and stores, or outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained, the proper wearing of face coverings over the mouth and nose reduces transmission of COVID-19, decreasing the burden on our local medical resources, our hospitals, and our healthcare workers.

Now, therefore, we, the mayors of cities and towns in Washington County, in collaboration with local physicians and the Washington County Commission proclaim our endorsement and encourage face coverings to be worn in all indoor public spaces and outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained; and

Therefore, we strongly recommend businesses in our county, cities and towns support and encourage that face coverings be worn in their establishments.

The declaration is signed by:

  • Hurricane’s Mayor John Bramall
  • LaVerkin’s Mayor Richard Hirschi
  • Rockville’s Mayor Pam Leach
  • Springdale’s Mayor Stan Smith
  • Washington’s Mayor Kenneth Neilson
  • Ivins’ Mayor Chris Hart
  • Leeds’ Mayor Wayne Peterson
  • Santa Clara’s Mayor Rick Rosenberg
  • St. George’s Mayor Jon Pike
  • Toquerville’s Mayor Lynn Chamberlain
  • County commissioners Dean Cox and Gil Almquist
Signatures on Washington County face mask. Source: Proclamation

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