Grand County extends preK-12 mask mandate through Nov. 9

Photo: U.S. Food & Drug Administration

GRAND COUNTY, Utah, Oct. 7, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Grand County has extended its pre-K-12 mask mandate until the second week of November, it was announced Thursday.

It had initially been announced that the indoor mask mandate would begin on the first day of school, Aug. 19, and remain in effect for 30 days.

The extended mask mandate begins Monday and will go through Tuesday, Nov. 9.

A letter to students, parents, staff and community members Thursday says: “The new mask mandate contains language in part four that explains that 60 days after a COVID-19 vaccine is available for 5-11 year olds, the Southeast Utah Health Department will no longer authorize a pre-K-12 indoor mandatory mask mandate. The 60 days allows for parents who choose for their child(ren) to be vaccinated enough time for both doses to be administered.”

It is widely believed that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11 year olds will receive emergency use authorization sometime before the end of October, the letter says.

“As has been the case with each 30 day mask mandate, SEUHD staff will carefully monitor local and state COVID data throughout the duration of this new mandate,” the letter says. “Depending on local and state COVID data, at the conclusion of 30 days, the order will either be renewed or it will expire. If the COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11 year olds becomes available during the current mask mandate, the 60 day clock will start and the mandate will continue past those 60 days.”

The mask mandate itself will still be reviewed at the end of the 30-day timeline and either renewed or allowed to expire. This process will continue until the COVID-19 vaccine is available for 60 days for 5-11 year olds. If the vaccine is available at the end of October, as long as local and state COVID data indicates, the longest a mask mandate may be in place is through Dec. 17, the letter says.

“The vaccine will not be mandated by GCSD leadership for either staff or students,” the letter says. “Whether a child receives the vaccine or not is purely the decision of the parents of the child. Thank you for your support as we continue to work to keep all students and staff safe.”


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