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State Rep: Mask mandate is “heavy-handed”

File -- Representative Paul Ray, (PHOTO: KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — A state lawmaker says he has a better idea than a mask mandate and shutting down the entire economy during this pandemic.

State Representative Paul Ray says we should take care of the people who are actually more at risk.

He says 94% of the 164 deaths in Utah due to COVID-19 are “high-risk” individuals, people age 65 and older, or with underlying health conditions. 

“You give them that option, if you want to stay home, we will take care of you with unemployment insurance until we figure out exactly what’s happening or until we get this under control,” he said.

He also says the money the state received from the CARES act could go toward people who may not have sick pay.

“Let’s keep these businesses open, but pay for people who test positive to stay home for the period of time that they are sick,” he said.

Ray spoke live on Utah’s Morning News. He also responded to the mask requirements the governor granted for Salt Lake and Summit Counties.

 

“I honestly think [masks] are part of the answer, but should the government mandate everybody has to wear a mask? That’s where I draw the line,” he said. “I have no problem wearing a mask. But when you go out and say you’re going to get a Class B Misdemeanor if you don’t wear a mask, you’ve crossed the line there.”

 


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States