SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 7, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said Wednesday that masks will still be required in the city despite the end of the statewide mandate Saturday.
In a news conference Wednesday morning, Mendenhall said: “Even though we’ve been encouraged by declining case rates and increasing vaccinations, the decline in Salt Lake City’s 14-day and three-day case averages has plateaued. By the state’s own standards, every part of Salt Lake City is still in the high rate of case incidents or very high rate. The state has also only reached 56% of its goal for allocating prime doses of the vaccine so far, and here in Salt Lake City, only a quarter of the residents in Glendale and Rose Park have received at least one dose of the vaccine, compared to about 50% in the Avenues and the East Bench.
“That data, coupled with warnings from epidemiologists about the rapid spread of the highly contagious variants is enough to tell me we need to keep doing what has worked; wearing masks. My job is to try and protect those who live in this city, the people that work in this city, and protect the businesses who employ people here.”
Mendenhall said that with the backing of the Salt Lake City Council, she is using the emergency powers given to the office of mayor to require that masks continue to be worn in all public settings in Salt Lake City beyond Saturday.
“The state’s lifesaving mask wearing requirement might end on April 10, but nothing will change that day here in Salt Lake City,” she said.
Mendenhall added: “From the first case of COVID that made its way into our state, I’ve been committed to one overarching principle; that as a city, we will be guided by public health data and that protecting the health of our residents will always be my highest priority.”
Salt Lake County Council member Amy Fowler added: “For over a year, we have been living in a state of emergency under this pandemic. But finally there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. I urge each of you to be patient with us as we all get through that tunnel so we can see that light.”
The full news conference can be seen above.