STUDENTS

SLC students appear to keep masks on, despite mandate being rescinded

Jan 24, 2022, 7:11 PM | Updated: Jan 25, 2022, 11:47 am
school masks...
(File photo: The football stadium at West High School, one of the schools where masks were distributed. Credit: Paul Nelson)
(File photo: The football stadium at West High School, one of the schools where masks were distributed. Credit: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s the first day back to school… of sorts… for students in the Salt Lake City School District. Monday was the first day since the start of the pandemic where children didn’t have to follow a mask mandate.  So, did the students decide to ditch the masks, or to keep their faces covered?

Mask mandate still in place?

If you were to wander the halls of West High School, you may have thought the mandate was still in place.  Senior Diego Duran says the overwhelming majority of his classmates decided to keep their masks on simply because school officials asked them to.

“The principal, in the morning, he basically thanked everyone for wearing a mask, so I guess that encouraged people to wear masks,” Duran said.  “I haven’t seen anyone without a mask.”

The Utah Legislature overturned mask mandates in Salt Lake and Summit counties last Friday, eliminating the mandate the SLCSD had in place since the beginning of the pandemic.  KSL TV reports teachers and parents were angry about the mandate being rescinded, but Duran says it didn’t seem to sway the students, at all.

He said, “No one was telling us not to, and no one was telling us to wear masks.  I guess they’re just doing whatever they feel is right.”

Cooperative students

District Spokesperson Yándary Chatwin says the students have been cooperative with mandates, in general, with most kids masking up when they were asked to. 

“We can’t control what people are doing out in the community, whether they wear masks or social distance,” Chatwin said.  “When we had that mask mandate in place, it was one tool to help us keep the spread at bay, in the schools.”

Chatwin says not only are they frustrated with the legislature for overturning the city’s mandate, but they’re also upset with the House passing HB 183, which allows lawmakers to decide when students are required to switch to online learning because of high COVID case numbers.  Chatwin says SLCSD never had to enact their “test to stay” protocols, however, they came close to doing so when cases numbers started rising.  In one of their larger high schools, 58 faculty members called in sick just before they switched to online learning.

“It’s really hard to educate kids when [faculty] is sick and can’t come to school, or they have to quarantine,” Chatwin said.

The Utah State Board of Education didn’t take an official stand on HB 183, but some board members say lawmakers are usurping local control away from school districts.

Read more:

Students

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.
2 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
5 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.
5 months ago
salt lake city mask exemption...
Kate Davis, Aimee Cobabe

BREAKING: dozens of students in the Salt Lake City district received a mask exemption

The Salt Lake City School District reported the number of students in each school who received a mask mandate exemption. 
5 months ago
Weber High School...
Eliza Craig

Weber High School surpasses COVID-19 case threshold, moves online

On Tuesday, Weber High School confirmed 46 positive COVID-19 cases, surpassing its threshold for in-person learning.
5 months ago
Woods Cross High School, one of the schools that received a 'mistake' email about COVID-positive st...
Paul Nelson

Davis School District apologizes, calls letter sent to parents about COVID-positive students ‘a mistake’

Davis School District is apologizing for a email sent by mistake, allowing students with COVID to attend class.
5 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.
SLC students appear to keep masks on, despite mandate being rescinded