Cox Urges Mutual Respect As Mask Mandate Is Set To Expire
During a press conference on Thursday, Gov. Spencer Cox said all Utahns should be able to sign up for a vaccine by April 1. He also urged residents to remain cautious and respectful of one another.
“I know that these issues around the pandemic can and have been divisive, but please, act with respect to your fellow human beings,” Cox said. “If you go into a business and they are requiring you to wear a mask, wear masks. Don't yell at the clerk, don't yell at the store manager. Don't make a fool of yourself, because you don't want to wear masks.”
Cox said it is important to remember that while the state’s mask mandate will end on April 10, businesses still have the right to require masks and that masks must still be worn in large, group settings where social distancing can not occur as well as in schools.
He also said respect goes both ways and encourages individuals who may be at higher risk or uncomfortable with some social settings to continue to use options like take-out.
“This is not a free-for-all,” Cox said. “We live in a society. We should care about each other. And if you don't care about other people, then don't go to places where other people are.”
Cox said while he and other state officials wanted to wait until all adults in the state had an opportunity to be vaccinated before lifting the mandate, the legislature disagreed and passed the legislation to end the mask mandate in April with a veto-proof majority. Still, he and state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn stress that continued mask-wearing in group settings will be an important part of preventing a surge of the virus.
Cox said if all goes as planned, all adults in the state will be eligible for vaccination starting April 1. He does not anticipate adding any new eligibility to the list before then.