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Salt Lake City Council extends school mask mandate up to district's winter break

A view of the Salt Lake City-County Building from the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.

A view of the Salt Lake City-County Building from the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News, File)



Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Council extended the city's COVID-19 emergency order Tuesday, meaning that masks will continue to be required in K-12 schools in the city through the end of the calendar year.

The order was extended through Dec. 20, when the Salt Lake City School District's winter break begins. The council had previously extended the order on Sept. 15 for an additional 30 days.

The Salt Lake City School District has had 321 COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks, which puts the district in the middle of the pack among other Salt Lake County districts, according to data shared by Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall.

However, over the first 40 days of the school year, the Salt Lake district has reported 864 cases, which is the lowest case total among the five districts in the county. Salt Lake's case total is the only one that is under 1,000 among all the districts.

"Our school district is still very low," Mendenhall said.

She added that Salt Lake County is still in the high transmission level for COVID-19, along with most other counties in the state.

City officials are still trying to increase vaccination rates on the west side of Salt Lake City, which is seeing the highest case rates, Mendenhall said. There was an uptick in vaccination rates in September and early October, but that seems to have leveled out, she added.

Just under 64% of eligible residents in Salt Lake City have now been vaccinated, according to Mendenhall.

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