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Salt Lake City Mayor Announces Mask Mandate For K-12 Students

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced today she's issuing a mask mandate for K-12 students in the city. They return to class Tuesday.

The Salt Lake City School District declined to take an official stance on the mandate. But in a statement, it said it strongly supports wearing masks as a protection for kids not eligible for the vaccine.

Mendenhall says the issue has become politicized to the point that elected bodies worry about retribution if they take a public position.

Last week, the Salt Lake County Council voted down a mask mandate for kindergarten through grade 6 after the county health director recommended it.

Mendenhall says it's her responsibility to keep the city and school district from going down a "dangerous path," by not requiring masks.

She said she'd lift the order when COVID-19 cases go down. Salt Lake County is currently in the high transmission level by state standards for COVID-19 cases.

Copyright 2021 KUER 90.1

Jon came to KUER by way of Los Angeles, where he was a freelance reporter and production assistant for NPR member station KCRW. He received a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California. Prior to reporting, he spent six years in the film industry as an editor and post production coordinator, and worked on everything from Hollywood blockbusters to independent documentaries. He mostly preferred the latter, until the slow gravitational pull of public radio drew him away altogether. At KUER, he covers a little bit of everything, paying special attention to quality of life issues and the economy.