Summit County, Utah (June 26, 2020) — On Friday, June 26, Summit County Council adopted Joint Public Health Order 2020-08, requiring “all individuals currently living within or visiting Summit County, Utah, to wear a face covering that completely covers the nose and mouth” under certain conditions. This exemption was approved by Governor Gary Herbert based on a request sent by Summit County Council Chair, Doug Clyde, Summit County Manager, Tom Fisher, and Summit County Health Director, Dr. Rich Bullough. This Order will go into effect at 12:01 am on Saturday, June 27, 2020.
In the letter requesting an exemption, Summit County leadership stated the following reasons for the mask ordinance:
“While the COVID-19 data in Summit County have been favorable as recently as three weeks ago, our more recent trends are of great concern and strongly suggest we are heading the wrong direction since moving to Yellow. Our Proxy Transmission Rate is at 2.5, and has been above the State goal of 1.5 continuously since June 10. The proportion of our positive cases related to travel has steadily increased from 0% on Memorial Day to 13% today. We have had nine (9) consecutive days of increased new (incidence) cases, based on the CDC 3-day average methodology. Additionally, we have experienced an increase in Positivity Test Rates from 2.5% on June 12 to 4% on June 21, exceeding the state target of 3%.”
Joint Public Health Order 2020-08 requires mandatory face coverings in any indoor spaces that allow the general public as well as any community gathering locations, indoors or outdoors. Employees will be required to wear a mask indoors and outdoors when interacting with the public, with the exception being in employee-only areas or employees working on assembly lines.
Other exemptions include:
- Individuals age two years or under.
- Individuals with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering.
- Individuals who are hearing impaired, or communicating with an individual who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
- Individuals for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the individual related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety.
- Individuals who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service.
- Individuals who are seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, while they are eating or drinking.
- Individuals who are purchasing a product or receiving a service that requires identification may briefly remove a face covering, as necessary, so that the retailer or service provider can verify identity.
Numerous “face coverings” qualify under the Order, included cloth masks, disposable masks, bandannas, and neck gaiters. Violations of the Order are punishable as an infraction; however the purpose of the Order is to protect individuals’ health and not to hold them criminally liable. Discretion will be used in the citing and prosecution of violations of the Order. Educating and supplying a mask to those in violation will be a priority of law enforcement.
“While these data may not be as dire at this moment as some surrounding jurisdictions, all the trends are unfavorable,” said Summit County leadership in the letter. “Summit County is a location to which people travel for work and recreation, often from areas experiencing rapid disease spread. Based on our current adverse data trends, and the surging cases in surrounding counties, we strongly believe our primary hope in adverting a future business shutdown is through this proposed mandatory mask measure.”
Businesses, employees, and members of the general public who have questions or concerns about the current Order are encouraged to call the Summit County Community Concerns Line (staffed Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) at 435.333.0050.
The Joint Public Health Order 2020-08 can be viewed in its entirety here. For current information on Summit County’s COVID-19 outlook, visit https://summitcountyhealth.org/coronavirus/. At this website, the public can find local information and community resources updated regularly as the pandemic situation evolves.