Tammy Tucker, Moab Regional Hospital nurse, receives the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, administered by Darci Miller on Dec. 28. [Photo: Moab Regional Hospital]

“Grand County, Utah Mask Mandate is STILL in effect until 6/15/21,” county government officials reminded the public in a press release this week.

While the statewide mask mandate will be lifted on April 10, the local public health order requiring facial coverings in public places was reinstated on March 16 of this year and will remain in effect until at least June 15.

The state bill lifting the statewide mandate, HB 294, was signed by Gov. Spencer Cox after heated negotiations with state legislators who had planned to end the state’s mask mandate even sooner.

“Once it became clear that the Legislature planned to end the mask mandate immediately, and with a veto proof majority, our administration worked with them to push the date back to get as many people vaccinated as possible,” said spokeswomen Jennifer Napier-Pearce at the time of signing.

HB 294 “expressly protects the right of SEUHD and the Grand County Commission to jointly order a mask mandate,” according to the statement issued by Grand County.

Under the public health order, the Southeast Utah Health Department and the Grand County Commission could end the health order. More likely, the terms of the order specify that conditions will automatically terminate if certain COVID-19 metrics fall below specific levels, two of which are already currently met. The remaining condition is that 1,633,000 vaccine doses are allocated to Utah citizens. Currently 920,515 doses have been delivered as of April 5.

“Once Grand County’s mask mandate ends, businesses may continue to require a mask at their own discretion,” county officials noted.