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Salt Lake Co. Health Department says mask mandate is working

The Salt Lake County Health Department says COVID-19 cases are trending down and it corresponds with a local mask mandate. (Photo credit: Salt Lake County)

SALT LAKE CITY — The mask mandate in Salt Lake County appears to be paying off, according to a new health department study. 

Mask mandate driving lower case count?

The Salt Lake County Health Department shared their findings with the county council Tuesday. According to department leaders, it included some new data after health workers visited businesses over the past week.

What they found is more than 9 out of 10 people are properly wearing face masks while in public. Only around 8% are not wearing them correctly, typically failing to cover their nose.

The most recent seven-day rolling case count of COVID-19 in the county is 1,026. That’s a 52% reduction from the peak between July 5 and July 11. During that time, the seven-day rolling case count was 2,131.

Presenting members of the health department say their plan is to continue with further analysis. According to their presentation, over the next few weeks, their observations will include “Incorrect wearing of face coverings by gender, incorrect wearing of face coverings by age group, further analysis of wearing face coverings by facility observed and geographic analysis.”

Masks on for 2020

Last week, Salt Lake County announced they will extend their mask mandate through the end of the year. 

“We’re six months into this emergency and we recognize that until we have a vaccine we need to continue to battle COVID-19,” Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said in a video announcement. “We now have the tools to do so until the end of the year, and I think the mask requirement will help us.”

According to county leaders, the mandate may be cut short if public health officials report wearing face coverings are no longer necessary.