Lifting The Mask Mandate

Wearing masks and getting a vaccine can help Utah prepare for the end of the mask mandate

Wearing masks and getting a vaccine can help Utah prepare for the end of the mask mandate

Governor Cox has signed a bill that will lift the statewide mask mandate on April 10, 2021. It has already been more than a year since the state shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the roller coaster of case numbers, hospitalizations, and vaccine numbers have been really stressful for everyone. The news of the mask mandate being lifted is quite literally, a breath of fresh air. It doesn’t mean that everything is going back to normal, but it is certainly a step in that direction.

On March 14, only 224 new cases were reported, and the seven-day average was 507 according to the Utah Coronavirus website. This is the lowest it has been since September of 2020, and even lower than it was in the summer. Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have been on a steady decline since early January.

Thanks to the number of vaccinated people, as well as the people who have already contracted and recovered from the virus, Utah is quickly approaching herd immunity which has a threshold of about 70% of a population, according to

At this point, the real question is what is stopping us from going back to normal? A few states, like Texas and Mississippi, have lifted their mask mandates already, and there are some states that have not required masks this whole time, leaving the decision up to local governments.

While there are many who would love to end the mask mandate now, others are afraid that lifting it will lead to another drastic spike in cases, but it is unlikely that mask-wearing will completely die out. While the mandate will lift certain restrictions, masks will still be required in mass gatherings, as well as in schools. Stores like Target and Harmon’s will also continue to require masks.

Utah and its government have done everything in their power to make lifting the mandate possible. The pandemic has to end at some point, and the fact that people are being proactive about it is wonderful. We have all the tools that we need to go back to normal, so it is time to start taking advantage of that.

So, April 10 is something to look forward to. After a difficult and uncertain year, the show must go on. Until then, be safe and responsible, and wear a mask.

Like Dr. Todd Vento says, “The reality we have in front of us is the reality we have to address, not the reality we want it to be. We have to work toward that reality, and so I would encourage folks to continue to use these precautions until (more herd immunity is reached).”