Salt Lake City — A mask mandate has been reinstated for courthouses throughout a majority of the state, including Cache and Box Elder counties. The order, issued by Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew B. Durrant, goes into effect Friday at both district and justice courts.
Chief Justice Durrant’s order requires patrons and court personnel to wear a mask if the court is located in a county that has been designated as a moderate or high transmission index county by the Utah Department of Health. The mandate is not in effect for courts located in low transmission index counties.
Cache County is currently designated as a moderate transmission index county and Box Elder County is in the high level. Rich County remains in the low transmission index, meaning the mask mandate does not apply there.
Court spokesperson Valeria Jimenez said the order is in response to the most recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the sharp increase in Utah cases of the Delta variant, and the increasing number of individuals who are compelled to come to court now that in-person hearings and jury trials have resumed.
The order allows judges to determine the temporary removal of a mask for a witness while they are testifying or to other individuals in a courtroom, if the judge determines removal is necessary for identification or other similar purposes.
Jimenez said throughout the pandemic, the courts have consistently focused on the safety of patrons and personnel. The courts will continue that focus while also monitoring developments of the pandemic, vaccination rates, and the advice of health experts.