COVID-19-FAMILIES-SCHOOLS

“What we’re doing is working”: Salt Lake mayor gives update on masks in schools

Sep 13, 2021, 12:10 PM | Updated: 5:35 pm
salt lake masks schools...
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall addresses the media about the mask mandate in the Salt Lake City School District (KSLTV)
(KSLTV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said that the mandate for masks in Salt Lake County schools is working, and she hopes the order will be extended.

Mendenhall: Masks help Salt Lake City schools stay open

She gave a live update in Salt Lake City on Monday morning, saying that students in schools throughout the district are healthier and more able to stay with in-person learning than other students in Salt Lake County because they wear masks.

“At 57 new cases per 10,000 population, Salt Lake City school district has the lowest rate of COVID-19 cases since the first day of school among the county’s five school districts,” Mendenhall said Monday morning.

She said that there has been overwhelming compliance of mask-wearing among students, saying that 99.8% of students are wearing masks in class even though there is no discipline of students if they don’t.

“In short, what we’re doing is working in Salt Lake City,” Mendenhall said. She added she had sent this latest data collected from both the state and county health departments to the City Council members who will be voting on Tuesday whether or not to extend the mask mandate for district schools.

Mendenhall said she is confident that they will vote to continue the masking order.

COVID-19 in Utah schools

Currently, 11% of new COVID-19 cases are in children 14 years old and younger. And 23% occur in young people 15-24, according to data from the Utah Department of Health.

Since the 2021 school year began, over 3,700 school-associated cases of COVID-19 have been reported.  Over 2,500 of those cases were reported in the past two weeks.  Mendenhall says SLCSD currently has the lowest percentage of cases of school districts in Salt Lake County, but she isn’t feeling optimistic about that.

Mendenhall said, “With every new day of data, things actually appear to be getting worse.”

Her main concern is the increase of infected children thanks to the Delta variant.  She says children all across Utah are catching the more infectious strain of the coronavirus, especially since children under the age of 12 can’t get vaccinated, yet.

“Last week alone, 1,373 children ages five to 11 tested positive for COVID-19.  In comparison, during the same time period last year, there were only 95 children who tested positive,” she said.  “In the worst of last winter, children only represented about 12 percent of infections.  Now, they account for about 25 percent.”

Mendenhall says the uptick can be linked to masks not being mandated for most schools in Utah.  She believes her mandate is working to slow the spread of the virus but she says it’s best if officials work with families to convince their children to mask up, instead of using heavy-handed force.

She said, “We have never cited, legally, someone for not complying with that.  That is never our intention, although, it does carry the force of law.”

 

 

COVID-19-families-schools

New eligibility rules for pandemic-EBT program...
Waverly Golden

New eligibility guidelines for Pandemic-EBT

Utah households will have to apply for free or reduced-price meal benefits with their local school by May 6 to possibly receive Pandemic-EBT.
1 month ago
Eighth grade students and their teacher wear masks during their dual language class at Mount Jordan...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

Bill that would allow parents to sue teachers over curriculum substituted during general session

The part of a bill that would have included the ability for parents to sue teachers if they didn't like what was on the lesson plan is being substituted on Utah's Capitol hill. 
4 months ago
The Salt Lake School Board eliminated 42 teaching positions because of dropping enrollment numbers....
Martha Harris, Paul Nelson, and Kira Hoffelmeyer

42 teaching positions eliminated in SLC from decline in student enrollment

The board eliminated 42 teaching positions because of dropping enrollment numbers
4 months ago
don't test stay home...
Kira Hoffelmeyer, Jacob Rueda, Jessica Lowell

Gov. Cox giving state employees time off to substitute in Utah schools

And while Utah's largest teachers union is grateful for the help, they say underlying issues must also be addressed.
4 months ago
school masks...
Paul Nelson

SLC students appear to keep masks on, despite mandate being rescinded

Students in Salt Lake City continued to wear masks Monday, despite a mask mandate no longer in effect.
4 months ago
mask mandates in utah...
Curt Gresseth

“Not unexpected” said Dr. Dunn after mask mandates in Utah shot down

Exec. director at Salt Lake County Health, Dr. Angela Dunn discusses repealing mask mandates in Utah and the importance of face masks in public.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
“What we’re doing is working”: Salt Lake mayor gives update on masks in schools