Utah renews public health order and sets goal of eliminating mask mandate


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Department of Health renewed a statewide public health order with the goal of slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Utah’s mask mandate first took effect in November 2020. Under the new public health order, residents must still wear masks in public indoor spaces or outdoors where physical distancing is not an option. This applies to all counties at all levels of transmission.

However, the health order states that masks will not be required in counties with a “low” transmission level eight weeks after UDOH announces that Utah has received 1,633,000 first doses of the vaccine.

Currently 444,905 first doses have been assigned.

Also under the new order, schools must screen high school students before they participate in one-time school-sponsored extracurricular activities, such as school dances.

“This is the time of year that we definitely have those kinds of right-of-way events especially for high school seniors,” he said. Tom hudachko, Communications Director of the UDOH. “We wanted to make sure we were paying attention to that and giving kids the opportunity to participate in those kinds of events, but also making sure they were safe.”

K-12 schools are also instructed to work with local health departments to determine the best course of action when a school reaches the state outbreak threshold.

The UDOH order also affects public meetings.

Gates in counties with “moderate” transmission levels will no longer be required to limit occupancy to 75%. Those bars will be required to ensure that patrons wear masks when within 6 feet of patrons of a separate party, in accordance with the order.

Live events, movie theaters, sporting events, weddings, recreation, and other entertainment events can resume with side-by-side seating as long as all customers wear masks and “can attest that they have no COVID-19 symptoms and are not subject to quarantine or isolation, ”UDOH said in a statement.

“The masks can be removed for eating or drinking, but a physical distance of 6 feet must be maintained from anyone in a separate part during that time,” according to the health department.

The new order will go into effect until March 25.

Read the full order here:

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