Utahns will still have to wear masks at organized events after state mandate expires

New health order calls for masks if 50 or more people are gathered at an event.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) A sign indicates masks are required at a store in West Valley City on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.

With hours left before the state’s mask mandate expires, the Utah Department of Health issued a new public health order Friday evening requiring masks at organized events.

As written, the new order will last until June 15. The new order defines an “organized event” as one with 50 or more people that is coordinated by an event host. People will have to wear masks at such events if it is not possible to stay 6 feet away from members of other households.

The order does not apply to non-commercial gatherings at private residences or religious services.

The new order also includes specific rules for high school sports and dances. Students will have to wear masks at dances. If the dance is inside, students must either be vaccinated or have tested negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours of the dance. Participants in sport practices and competitions will need to either test negative for COVID-19 or be vaccinated.

There are a number of exceptions to the mask rules. People are allowed to take their masks off to eat or drink, to talk to someone who is hard of hearing, to exercise outdoors or at a distance of 6 feet from other people inside, while performing for an audience and in order to confirm their identity, among other exceptions.