LOGAN – Mandatory face masks could be coming to Logan, if a proposed request by Mayor Holly Daines is approved by Gov. Gary Herbert.
At a Logan City Council meeting Tuesday, Daines solicited the council members’ reaction to the idea of requesting the state’s permission to impose a mask mandate in Logan.
After consulting with officials at Utah State University and the Logan City School District, Daines said that she came to the conclusion that Logan should adopt a mandate so that “mask-wearing policies would be the same everywhere” within city limits.
Under current state coronavirus guidelines, students and teachers in K through 12 public schools will wear masks when classes finally resume in August. Utah State has adopted a similar policy, as have several major retailers throughout Cache Valley, including Walmart, Sam’s Club, Smith’s Marketplace, Smith’s, Lee’s Marketplace, Macey’s and others.
Citing public health concerns, the members of the city council were generally supportive of the mayor’s proposal. Council member Jeanne Simmonds emphasized that the mask mandate should especially apply to passengers on Cache Valley Transit District buses.
Daines said she planned to send her request for permission to impose the mask mandate through the Bear River Health Department to Gov. Herbert by Thursday.
While Herbert has been reluctant to impose a statewide mask mandate, he has previously approved similar voluntary requests from city and county officials.
In general terms, the city’s mandate would require masks to be worn indoors in public places whenever contact with other individuals was likely and outdoors whenever social distancing cannot be maintained.
If the mayor’s request is approved, Daines said that the city has no plans to punitively enforce the mandate.
“We’re certainly not going to put anyone in jail for not wearing a mask,” she added. “In other places where masks are mandatory, officials are focusing on education about the benefits of mask-wearing, rather than enforcement.”