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Utahns gather outside governor, governor-elect’s homes to protest mask mandate

FAIRVIEW, Utah — In the week following Gov. Gary Herbert’s new state of emergency, several Utahns have protested the newly-issued restrictions — especially the statewide mask mandate.

Protesters organized rallies throughout the week, gathering Sunday at Gov. Herbert’s personal residence in Orem, as well as Governor-elect Spencer Cox’s home in Fairview. 

In response, the governor-elect tweeted a photo with several plates of cookies and a thermos of fresh hot chocolate on his counter — noting he would pass them out to any protester he meets outside his home. 

“Never dreamed I would have protestors at my home in Fairview,” Cox said in a tweet Sunday. “But we don’t get many visitors, so if you make the long drive, the least we can do is make you cookies and hot chocolate. I’m glad I got a chance to tell them I love them even if we disagree on masks.”

 

Meanwhile, a group of about 75 protesters gathered outside the governor’s home in Orem — protesting the public health order that requires masks and prohibits social gatherings outside of one’s household until Nov. 23. A parade of vehicles drove down the street donned with American flags as protesters waved signs reading, “Mandates are Tyranny” and “Just say no 2 masks.” 

The protest comes just hours after the Utah Department of Health reported 2,667 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday. It also comes one day after the state reported a record of 4,052 cases Saturday. 

Protesters gathered despite a newly-issued ordinance from the Orem City Council that bans targeted residential picketing. The ordinance went into effect Friday, ahead of the expected rallies. 

State troopers and Orem police were on the scene of the protest in front of Gov. Herbert’s home, but no arrests were made.