Thursday night Utah Governor Gary Herbert approved Summit County’s request to make wearing face masks mandatory in public. County Manager Tom Fisher tells KPCW the county received verbal confirmation from Herbert's office and written approval will come Friday.
The county asked for permission to require face masks in public to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Of special concern was the increase in the number of positive cases in the county that were related to travel. County officials also said they were worried about running out of hospital beds, especially since there are only four beds in Park City Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. They also noted that Summit County’s “unique tourism economy” could be “profoundly damaged” if it developed a negative reputation as a “hotspot” for the virus.
Summit County proposed face coverings in any indoor public space. That includes all businesses, stores and restaurants and health care centers. Face masks must also be worn when working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time. And community events must require face masks.
You do not have to wear a face mask if you are seated at a restaurant. Children under two years old do not have to wear a face covering. Neither do people with a medical condition or disability that would make wearing a face mask difficult. And face masks would not be required if it makes a job unsafe for a worker, as determined by federal state and local guidelines.
According to Fisher, once the county receives the governor’s written approval, Fisher, the county council and the county health director have to adopt an order to put in place. That should happen Friday.
Governor Herbert also approved a similar request from Salt Lake County.
Click here to see Summit County's request to Governor Herbert.