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Salt Lake City Mayor explains why we should go back to orange

FILE - In this Wednesday, April 8, 2020, file photo, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall wears a face mask as she attends the daily COVID-19 media briefing at the Capitol in Salt Lake City. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, Pool, File)

SALT LAKE CITY— Speaking from City Hall yesterday, Salt Lake City Mayor expanded on why she thinks the city needs to go back to the orange risk phase

“Over the last several weeks, Salt Lake City has seen 3 of the highest case count days of the pandemic plus an increase in the (proxy and transmission rates of the virus) during the last week.  This is dangerous if we don’t get it under wraps,” said Mayor Erin Mendenhall. 

The Mayor says the problem isn’t businesses being open, and businesses will not have to close.  Mendenhall says most in the city are already operating under Orange rules. And she quotes 9 out of 10 Salt Lake residents are putting masks on to go into businesses.  But rather, she says “We are putting (masks) away when we are with family and friends. (That’s when) we have got to wear the masks more often.”  

Mendenhall points to public health data, that says “it’s in public social settings, group settings when we are starting to see this spike really take hold.”  The Mayor says it’s the “backyard barbeque or birthday party” when we should be wearing the masks. 

The Mayor notes the social gathering limit will be reduced if the City goes back to orange.   In yellow the limit is gatherings of 50 people, in orange, it is 20.

The State and Salt Lake County will review the request.  If they approve it, it could go into effect as early as the weekend. 

The Salt Lake City Mayor ended her comments with, “Masks shouldn’t be politicized as much as they have been.  This is about public health.”