SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — The Utah Legislature has passed a bill ending the statewide mask mandate on April 10.
House Bill 294, sponsored by Rep. Paul Ray (R-Clinton), cleared a final vote in the House of Representatives late Friday in the final hours of the legislative session. Known as the “COVID endgame” bill — which 2News first reported when it was introduced — it terminates certain public health orders after the state reaches defined thresholds and case rates.
As part of the bill, the statewide mask mandate will be lifted April 10. Gov. Spencer Cox said Friday evening he will likely sign the bill. He said the state is vaccinating more than 25,000 people a day, and the vaccine will probably be open to all adults by April 1.
“We won’t get through everyone before the potential mask mandate can go away, but we’ll get through a lot of people,” Cox said, adding masks would still be required at large gatherings. “That’s where you have the super-spreader events.”
The mandate would also still apply to K-12 schools, according to the bill.
Also Friday, the governor said he was “not crazy about” a bill repealing bail reform in Utah. The Legislature passed House Bill 220 which largely rolls back changes to how people are jailed in Utah. The changes took effect just five months ago. They were enacted to keep people from staying in jail on lower-level offenses just because they couldn’t afford bail. Critics said it led to some accused criminals getting out of jail when they shouldn’t have, but supporters said the reforms are working.
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Cox did not rule out of a veto of House Bill 220.
“I’m really disappointed that we weren’t able to solve that and get that done,” he told 2News in an interview. He said he would like to bring all sides back together to resolve the issue in a special session.
The governor declined Friday evening to specify any other bills he was considering vetoing.