LOGAN – As promised, Logan Mayor Holly Daines has requested authorization from Gov. Gary Herbert to mandate the wearing of masks or face coverings by city residents and visitors.
In a letter dated July 23, the mayor described the proposed mask requirement as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19 that is necessary “to keep our industry and economy operating and our schools in session.”
The letter was forwarded through the Bear River Health Department to state officials. While Herbert has been reluctant to impose a statewide mask mandate, he has previously approved similar voluntary requests from city and county officials.
“Per your directives,” Daines wrote, “K-12 students and teachers are required to wear a mask at school as well as (students, staff and faculty members) in all state-owned buildings on university campuses. We would like to make that mask mandate consistent throughout our community.
“With the imminent return of 20,000 Utah State University students for fall semester, many from other cities and states, it makes sense to have them continue the practice of wearing masks off-campus in our community and to have our citizens do the same for the protection of all.”
Daines also noted that Salt Lake and Summit counties have recently benefited from a reduction in virus cases after making the wearing of face coverings mandatory in public.
The mayor emphasized that her request is supported by the majority of the members of the Logan City Council, by officials of the Logan City School District and by USU President Noelle Cockett.
Daines also argued that a proactive mask mandate is necessary because local health officials have confirmed that community spread of COVID-19 is an issue in the Bear River Health District.
In addition to the mask wearing protocols imposed on the Logan City School District and Utah State, several major retailers throughout Cache Valley have announced similar mask mandates, including Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Smith’s Marketplace, Smith’s, Lee’s Marketplace, Macey’s and others.
On July 21, Daines told members of the city council that Logan’s proposed 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 city’s request is approved, Daines said that Logan has no plans to punitively enforce the mandate.
You can read the entirety of Mayor Daines’ letter to Gov. Gary Herbert below:
Dear Governor Herbert,
Per protocol, I have submitted this letter to the Bear River Health Department to pass along to you for consideration in allowing the City of Logan to require masks or face coverings for citizens.
We are now a month away from the anticipated return to school for both K-12 and Utah State University students. Both are critical for our community and in-person learning will be dependent on keeping the coronavirus in check. Per your directive, K-12 students and teachers are required to wear a mask at school as well as in all state-owned buildings on university campuses. We would like to make that mask mandate consistent throughout our community.
With the return of 20,000 USU students for fall semester, many from other cities and states, it makes sense to have them continue the practice of wearing masks off-campus in our community,and to have our citizens do the same for the protection of all. According to the Bear River Health Department Epidemiologist, we do have community spread in the health district. Although our virus case counts are reasonable at this time, we want to be proactive in keeping that under control. I have support from the majority ofLogan’s City Council, the Logan City School District and Utah State University, including USU President Noelle Cockett, in this request.
In addition, as demonstrated from the JBS outbreak, our valley has a number of manufacturing/processing plants where close contact could also create another potential spike and spread. This request is about prevention, to keep our industry and economy operating and our schools in session.
You may have seen this recent compilation of research which supports the wearing of masks: https://pws.byu.edu/covid-19-and-masks. Salt Lake City and Summit Counties have also demonstrated success in virus reduction with mandatory masks. https://www.ksl.com/…/we-now-have-evidence-salt-lake-county… masks-for-recent-covid-l 9-stabilization.
As the Mayor of Logan, I respectfully request permission to mandate masks for my jurisdiction.