Utah church members asked to wear masks in public

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An organist follows local COVID-19 public health guidelines by playing the organ with a face mask during a Latter-day Saint Sunday worship service. (Church Newsroom)

The Utah Area Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asked church members to wear masks whenever they are in public in a July 10 email. 

“We are most grateful for all you do to minister to one another and to your neighbors. Please join with us now in common purpose for the blessing and benefit of all,” the email says.

The Utah Area Presidency urged members to listen to the recommendations of medical authorities and said wearing masks in public places, both indoors and outdoors, is a sign of good citizenship.

The importance of mask-wearing was also emphasized by the First Presidency of the Church when they announced the gradual return to in-person sacrament meetings beginning in May. Mask use was listed among other safety precautions that members should take when attending church.

The Area Presidency’s letter commended members for following these guidelines in sacrament meetings and asked them to continue to follow them in all public spaces.

The request comes on the tails of Salt Lake and Summit counties’ new face mask requirements that went into effect on June 27. Those are the only two counties in the state to require masks in public, although Gov. Gary Herbert said masks will be required in K-12 schools and announced a statewide mask mandate may be considered if COVID-19 cases in Utah don’t drop.

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