Local Control in Mask Mandates
The United Utah Party is calling for the repeal of HB1007, the law which prohibits face covering mandates in higher education. HB1007 also prohibits the state school board or districts from imposing mask mandates, instead reserving that ability for the governor and county elected officials in conjunction with local health departments.
"In light of the escalating situation with COVID-19, the legislature should reverse HB1007,” Stirling said. “This can be done through either repeal or revision to restore local control to school boards, giving them the ability to follow the guidance of medical professionals without partisan interference.”
Stirling also pointed out that all decisions about mask mandates are made by those in partisan positions that override any attempts at local control.
“HB1007 was passed when COVID-19 case counts were falling and we were seeing just how effective vaccines could be,” Stirling said. "Unfortunately, we are heading into a back-to-school season that looks nothing like last spring. Our COVID-19 case counts and percentages are again on the rise, our hospitals are exceeding functional capacity, and while vaccination helps prevent severe illness, the delta variant is causing ‘breakthrough' infections in vaccinated individuals. Worse, the majority of public education students are currently ineligible for vaccination. The CDC recently updated its recommendation that all individuals wear face coverings in public, indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. Many businesses are already complying with that recommendation, but governments in Utah are slow to act on the CDC's guidance.”