Well being director Weber-Morgan needs Ok-6 masks mandate

Brian Cowan, executive director of the Weber-Morgan Department of Health, says he wants to pass a health ordinance requiring masks for K-6 students in Weber and Morgan counties. (KSL)

MORGAN – Weber-Morgan Department of Health director said he wants to issue a health order mandating masks for K-6 students in Weber and Morgan counties. But he says the district officials are hesitant.

“I left the meeting with the impression that both Morgan County and Weber Counties are very reluctant to allow any mask mandate,” Brian Cowan, executive director of the Department of Health, told KSL NewsRadio.

What the Weber-Morgan Health Order would look like

For both counties, Cowan’s proposed health ordinance would require masks for kindergarten through 6th grade if a school has 2% of its student body with COVID-19. This is the same threshold that the state has set. That percentage triggers the Test to Stay segment of Utah law. Once a school sees 2% of students with COVID-19 cases, the student body must test negative in order to return to school.

Cowan told KSL that attorneys are considering his proposal, which is not yet a formal request for a mandate. It would add a mask requirement for children in grades K-6 in addition to the state’s requirement to test children in schools with an outbreak.

“What is missing from this law is the use of masks. And when you look at what kind of public health order I’m proposing, it picks up on that missing component of the test to stay law, ”Cowan said.

He said that based on models, some schools in Counties Weber and Morgan are already on their way to that threshold.

“We could hit the test to stay threshold – that 2% – in some of our schools sometime in mid-October.”

Balance between public health and governance

According to state law, the health authorities of the district can issue health ordinances, while the district commissions have the option of repealing them. But Cowan said if he does decide to issue a health order, it will be in partnership with Weber and Morgan District Commissions.

“But we also need to be aware of the broader perspective of the government of a community and what other factors play a role in the decisions of our elected officials.”

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