For a link to this and other emergency proclamations visit https://www.slc.gov/mayor/emergencyproclamations/
SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall signed an emergency proclamation Wednesday morning requiring individuals within the City to wear masks or face coverings when they are in public spaces or with people outside their household. The move comes ahead of the end of Utah’s statewide mask requirements on April 10 and will remain in effect until the Mayor rescinds the proclamation, or ends the City’s state of emergency.
“My job is to try to protect the people who live in this City, to protect the people who work in this City, and to protect the businesses that employ people in this City,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “And that is why today, with the backing of the City Council and the support of medical and business leaders, I am using the emergency powers given the Office of Mayor to require that masks be worn in public settings within Salt Lake City.”
While the Mayor said that she was encouraged by declining cases and increasing vaccinations, the decline in Salt Lake City’s fourteen-day and three-day daily-case averages has plateaued, and every part of Salt Lake City remains in the “high rate” or “very high” of case incidence.
The Mayor added that the state has also only reached 56 percent of its goal for allocating prime doses of the vaccine so far, and in Salt Lake City, the percentage of residents in Rose Park [25.3] and Glendale [23.4] who have received at least one dose of vaccine is half of what it is in the Avenues [49.3] and the East Bench [52.5].
“One thing we’ve learned during this past year is that masks work. Until the majority of our population is vaccinated, masking and social distancing protocols are still the best way we can protect each other. We’re almost to the finish line and we strongly encourage everyone to continue protecting each other by masking and observing social distancing guidelines,” said Dr. Russel Vinik, the Chief Medical Operations Officer at the University of Utah Hospital who joined the Mayor for her announcement.
Equitable vaccination rates within Salt Lake City, along with infection rates and case counts will play a determining role in the Mayor’s future decision to rescind this order, and she added that she’d be looking to data and medical health experts for a signal that it’s safe to stop wearing masks.
“From the time the first case of COVID-19 made its way to our state I have 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,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “I cannot wait until the day comes where the data allows me to sign the order rescinding this life-saving mask requirement, but that day is not today… and it is not April 10th.”
Joining Mayor Mendenhall to speak at a press conference announcing the proclamation was Salt Lake City Council Chair Amy Fowler, Dr. Russel Vinik, the Chief Medical Operations Officer at the University of Utah Hospital, Matt Caputo, President of Caputo’s Market and Deli, and Dee Brewer, Executive Director of the Downtown Alliance.
###Tags: City Mask Requirement, COVID-19, Dee Brewer, Dr. Russel Vinik, Emergency Proclamation, Matt Caputo, Mayor Erin Mendenhall, Salt Lake City Council Chair Amy Fowler