Utah governor says state won't mandate masks in schools this fall

Utah governor says state won't mandate masks in schools this fall
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Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) said Thursday that he won't force students to wear masks in public schools this fall as in-person classes resume across the state.

Citing rising vaccination rates and the high availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, Cox told The Associated Press that those with concerns about their children contracting COVID-19 had ample resources to ensure that their children were protected.

“We now have the ability for those that have concerns about the virus to protect ourselves much more,” Cox said in an interview. “We have better masks available and opportunities for people to make those decisions.”

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Students at higher risk of serious illness or death resulting from COVID-19 will be able to wear n95 masks if desired, or take part in remote learning if their district offers such courses, Cox added.

"There will certainly be opportunities to accommodate those who may be struggling or are worried about that but our hope is that … by the time we’re back in school by the end of August that that won’t be a concern for most families," he added.

The Mayo Clinic warns that children and infants can still become sickened with COVID-19, but "typically don't become as sick as adults and some might not show any symptoms at all."

"Most children have mild symptoms or no symptoms," the organization's website states.

In Utah, just under one-fourth of the population is fully vaccinated, while 40 percent has received one dose.

Health experts have warned that falling vaccination rates around the country could lengthen the U.S.'s recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak.