Utah students implore parents to stop fighting mask mandates

Enterprise High School seniors Broc Gardner, left, Dallee Cobb and Dawson Thelin participate virtually from their school in Enterprise, Washington County, during the weekly COVID-19 briefing at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. The students spoke about their first week back in school.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — High school seniors who pushed back against recent anti-mask protests joined Gov. Gary Herbert at a weekly briefing Wednesday imploring parents to stop fighting Utah’s face covering mandate in schools.

Three Enterprise High School students voiced frustration with parents and other community members who recently planned a no-mask protest Monday in St. George. The students said they are willing to wear masks to keep their school open and prevent any further disruptions to their educational experience.

We shouldn’t be throwing away the opportunity to be in extracurriculars and to be in person and socialize over something as small as wearing a mask,” said Dallee Cobb. “I feel like the opinion of parents and adults in general right now are just a big part of that problem.”

The state’s public schools are doing a mix of in-person and online learning, with many districts leaving the decision to parents. Herbert said he recognizes those who have objections to wearing masks but said it is a minimal sacrifice that nearly all students are willing to make.

The Republican governor has stopped short of implementing a mask mandate during the pandemic but has continually urged people to wear face coverings to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Our young people taught us today that they’re willing to take that little sacrifice,” he said. “We the adults ought to follow that lead and have that same kind of a positive attitude.”

Meanwhile, the state’s total deaths from the virus reached 400 on Wednesday with four new deaths reported. But officials also said new case numbers have remained low compared to earlier this summer.

The state’s epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said that at the beginning of August, Utah was averaging about 500 new cases a day and a positivity rate that was hovering around 10%. The state’s positivity rate has since dropped about 1.5% and the rolling seven-day average for new cases has remained under 400 since Aug. 11.

Utah is moving in the right direction,” Herbert said. “It doesn’t mean we’re perfect. It certainly doesn’t mean that we’re close to the finish line.”

More than 50,000 cases of the virus have been reported, according to state data. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness and death.


Sophia Eppolito is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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  • Nelle August 27, 2020 at 10:53 am Reply

    These children don’t quite understand. They are just doing what they are told. Parents who have seen and understand that the “requiring masks” is just the start of the “controlling” power that will take away other rights if we continue to “go along” with all of this. Ask governor Herbert when he will not require masks. If he tells you “when the virus is gone” – that means never. And if he says “when there is a vaccine”— then what if you decide not to get the vaccine. When will it stop. Using these children as his voice- just let’s you know he’s trying to supersede the parents – over ruling how we teach our children to defend their rights. I want to hold an anti-mask protest. Our children need to be un-masked. The virus isn’t going away, and those who are at risk know how to keep themselves safe. Do what YOU think is Best for you and your own families. Stop dictating what is allowed for mine.

    • Seriously Annoyed August 27, 2020 at 1:06 pm Reply

      Maybe you don’t understand that this is a GLOBAL PANDEMIC not governor Herbert’s pandemic. We need to do everything in our power to help control it, if that means wearing a mask then that means wearing a mask. This is just like the 1918 pandemic where they had to eventually require people to wear a mask, because no one would take it seriously: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/03/us/mask-protests-1918.html#:~:text=As%20the%20influenza%20pandemic%20swept,in%20political%20and%20cultural%20wars.&text=The%20masks%20were%20called%20muzzles,them%20to%20dogs%20in%20mockery

      Your anti-mask propaganda is not helping one bit. The children are not dumb, they may be doing what they are told but they also want to help if they can (At least my children do). We ABSOLUTELY should adhere to the advice of people that work their entire lives studying disease and how to control it. This too shall pass, it just takes time and it will pass faster if people would just follow the freaking advice of those in the medical profession rather than getting butt hurt that they have to put some cloth over their face so they don’t cough on everyone. It’s seriously not hard. No one is rounding us up to put us in gas chambers, no one has taken away any rights of ours, it’s just a mask.

    • Lex August 27, 2020 at 8:10 pm Reply

      I’m so tired of people not educating themselves on the truth about this virus. It is not like the 1918 pandemic. Their is not near the death toll of that virus. It’s no more deadly than the average yearly flu. Also the CDC just came out this past week stating that the masks don’t work with this virus. More people need to do their homework and educate themselves about the truth of this Covid agenda. It’s completely political and will most likely magically disappear on Nov. 4th.

      Masks cause more harm than good.

      • skeetr August 31, 2020 at 3:00 pm Reply

        Lex, you may consider yourself educated, but your sources are likely shit.

        1918 pandemic was initially harmless, too, then it mutated. not saying that will happen here, but who cares? why give it a chance, unless you are a complete knucklehead? it’s technically more deadly than the flu, and much more virulent. we have no immunization.

        Proper masks worn correctly cause no harm, you complete tool. They prevent mouth breathers like yourself sharing your illness with everyone around you and yes, offer middling protection from water droplets coming in. Your sources are false, and even worse you spread the misinformation like a tool.

        take 30 seconds &:
        go to cdc.gov (not your right wing circlejerk site)
        click how to protect yourself
        scroll down
        read about GASP! MASKS

  • Not So Silent Majority August 28, 2020 at 9:26 am Reply

    Nelle, please do not be swayed by comments like the first one that responded to you. WE HERE YOU! You are absolutely right, and you make solid points… none of which the “Seriously Annoyed” person decided to respond to (I wonder why?). However they did take the time to parrot the talking points of the left and then label you in an effort to discredit you. Same tactics, different day. KEEP FIGHTING the good fight… we cannot be silent any longer! Thank you Nelle!

    • skeetr August 31, 2020 at 3:02 pm Reply

      Denial is a river in egypt. You are the misinformed parrots. This is not a good fight, this is killing your grandmother.

  • skeetr August 28, 2020 at 9:48 am Reply

    Look at countries who responded swiftly and properly with scientifically backed mandates. They are looking at sub-100 cases since freaking May. No one wants to control you with masks. Holy shit, you’re an anti-vaccer, too? Big yikes. The only reason you haven’t met the boomer remover yet is due to the diligence of the others around you to increase crowd immunity.

    What you should be worried about is the fascism happening at the top and the fact so many local politicians run unopposed year after year.

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