Governor Spencer Cox announced that public school mask requirements will be lifted for the last week of school. A decrease in cases in school districts and increasing numbers of vaccinated individuals prompted the change. Gov. Cox made the announcement during his weekly COVID-19 media briefing.
“Our number one goal all along has been the desire and the need to keep kids in school,” Cox said. “We have done that as well, if not better, than any other state.”
The change was made official in a new public health order changes the mask requirement to end on the “Monday of the last week of the 2020-21 school year or, in the case of non-traditional school, May 31, 2021.”
Gov. Cox said the move was done in consultation with several school district superintendents who expressed a desire for the requirement to be lifted, but masks are still encouraged.
“Give kids an opportunity to see their teachers, to see their friends, to spend that last week together without masks, if they so choose,” Cox said.
School districts still have the option to continue mask mandates in their schools if they feel there is still a substantial COVID-19 threat.
Information on COVID-19 cases in schools can be found on our case counts page (under the “Schools” tab).
Also at the briefing, Gov Cox stressed the need for Utahns to get vaccinated, noting that vaccinations across the country have slowed.
“This is how we get out of this pandemic forever,” Cox said. “This is the thing that prevents it from coming back in the fall.”
State officials will start exploring incentive options to encourage those who haven’t received the COVID-19 vaccine to do so. Businesses and organizations can also request a mobile vaccination clinic to help make the vaccine more accessible.