SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, Jan. 7, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake County Health Department Executive Director Dr. Angela Dunn has issued a public health order requiring people in Salt Lake County to wear masks in indoor public settings, as well as certain outdoor settings, for the next 30 days.
According to a Salt Lake County Health Department press release issued Friday afternoon, the order is in response to the record-breaking surge of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. The health order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, and is currently planned to be in force until 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022.
“We desperately need to use every tool available to ensure our hospitals can continue providing excellent healthcare through this surge,” Dunn said. “We also need to ensure that our essential services have the staff necessary to operate—from law enforcement, to plow drivers, to school teachers. It is my obligation as health officer to take the action I believe has the best chance to prevent unnecessary suffering throughout our community.”
Exemptions to include:
- Individuals under 2 years of age and those with medical conditions, impairments or disabilities that prevent wearing a mask.
- Individuals engaging in work where they are alone and individuals for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the individual related to their work as determined by local, state or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
- Individuals seated at a restaurant or other food/beverage establishment while they are actively eating or drinking.
“As with Salt Lake County mask orders issued earlier in the pandemic, education about the purpose of the order and supplying a mask to individuals in violation will be the primary method of enforcement,” the SLCoDoH statement said.
“The purpose of this order is to protect public health and our critical industries’ staffing, not to hold someone criminally liable. Health officials are asking businesses and operators of other public spaces to enforce this order as they do any other social-behavioral expectations that exist for their establishment.”
The complete order, which includes Salt Lake City, will be available at SaltLakeHealth.org by 3 p.m. today.