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South Salt Lake Journal

Governor Herbert announces mask requirement for teachers and students at Utah schools this fall

Jul 09, 2020 01:36PM ● By Justin Adams
By Justin Adams | [email protected]

Governor Gary Herbert announced during a Thursday morning press conference that all Utah students, teachers and faculty will be required to wear face masks this upcoming fall semester in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

"We're mandating that all students, faculty, staff and visitors to our K-12 schools throughout our state... will wear a mask in the buildings and on the bus," he said. 

Other state government buildings, such as DMV's, have already been requiring face coverings, Herbert noted.

Herbert called masks "a common-sense application of protection."

"We've had a lot of discussion with parents and teachers concerned about what they have to do get their children back in school... We want to do whatever is necessary to make sure they have a safe environment to go back to school," he said.

The announcement comes after a sustained period of increasing cases throughout the state. 

"The concern we have today is our infection rates have gone up... the trend is going in the wrong direction," said Herbert. 

State epidemiologist Angela Dunn shared some current statistics about the virus' spread during the press conference.  
  • The state's current 7-day rolling average stands at 585 cases per day and a 9.9% positivity rate. 
  • 6.2% of cases have required hospitalizations, compared to 8% earlier in the outbreak. 
  • There is currently a .75% fatality rate, compared to 1% earlier in the outbreak.
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