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Letter: We need a county mask mandate to replace the statewide one

SHARE Letter: We need a county mask mandate to replace the statewide one
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Sophia Cline, left, and Brent Cline wear masks while walking in downtown Salt Lake City on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Now that Gov. Spencer Cox has signed HB294 and the state’s mask mandate is set to be lifted April 10, it’s imperative that Salt Lake County consider a new mandate. As of March 24, 24% of Utahns have had their first dose and a mere 13% are fully vaccinated. I’m a retail worker and not even scheduled to get my first dose until April 20.

Some say that folks will do the right thing and wear a mask without a government mandate, but I don’t trust it. I’ve seen too much reckless behavior in the past year, even with a mandate. Removing it will only serve to empower folks not to take proper precautions like masking and social distancing. Some private businesses will continue to require masks, but not all — and that is another good reason why we need an across-the-board mandate to continue.

We have made great strides in the battle against COVID-19, but it is far too early to relax our respective postures. It’s absolutely vital to protect our fellow Utahns and especially those who are more vulnerable — and the best way to do that is to keep the mandates around until science says otherwise.

Ryan D. Curtis

Salt Lake City