FILE: Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, left, in front of the West Side Senior Center, while county workers held signs showing hospitalization rates among age groups.

Paul Nelson, KSL Newsradio

Dropping mask mandate in April is too soon, Salt Lake County mayor says

By John Wojcik, KSL NewsRadio | Posted - Mar. 8, 2021 at 5:58 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson is uncomfortable with the notion of dropping the statewide mask mandate in around a month.

Speaking to KSL NewsRadio's Dave and Dujanovic on Monday morning, Mayor Wilson explained that her concern is for teens, children and other people who may still be unvaccinated.

"If we went to senior living right now or an area that had primarily people over 70, we would be with that herd immunity in that one setting," she said. "It's a very different story for the rest of us. It certainly is not April 10, in my opinion."

The comments come after a bill passed on the final day of the state Legislature that sets the statewide mask mandate to expire by April 10.

Additionally, it allows for other restrictions to be loosened once various vaccine, case rate and ICU metrics are met.

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Making room for 'best judgment'

Wilson argues that April 10 is too soon to remove the mandate. In her opinion, the state should wait for COVID-19 case rates to drop even lower before dropping the mask mandate.

"What we need is to see these cases to continue to decline," she said. "There will be the right time when we can remove masks."

In her opinion, instead of rushing to remove masks in public, the next couple months should be about trusting Utahns to make smart judgments.

"With our own personal interactions, with our friends and family, we can be smart," Wilson said. "We can look at who has been vaccinated (and) who hasn't. If we need to protect someone, (we can) stay a little ways away."

It was announced on Thursday by Gov. Spencer Cox that six Utah counties, including Salt Lake County, were moving to the "moderate" transmission phase for the virus. Counties in this phase do not have gathering restrictions, as long as individuals are wearing masks.

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