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.