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Salt Lake County and Summit County Require Individuals to Wear Face Coverings
July 01, 2020


All information in this COVID-19 Response Resource issue is effective as of July 1, 2020.

The Centers for Disease Control and the State of Utah have consistently encouraged employers to require employees to wear face coverings in the workplace, particularly when such employees cannot maintain six feet of distance from other customers or employees. 

On June 26, 2020, Salt Lake County enacted a Public Health Order that requires all individuals (who are two years old or older) and are able to “medically [and] psychologically tolerate a face covering . . . to wear a face covering that completely covers the nose and mouth in public areas where consistent social distancing of at least six feet is not possible, reasonable, or prudent.” The Salt Lake County order is set to expire Friday, July 4, unless extended. 

On the same day, Summit County enacted a Public Health Order that requires “all individuals currently living within or visiting Summit County, Utah, to wear a face covering that completely covers the nose and mouth in the following circumstances: 

  • Inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor space, which is open to members of the public;
  • Obtaining services from the healthcare industry in settings, including without limitation, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank, unless directed otherwise by a healthcare provider;
  • Employees, staff, or volunteers engaging in work, whether inside or outside at the workplace or performing work off-site, when:
    • Interacting in-person with any member of the public;
    • Working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time.
    • Working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution.
  • At all community gatherings, indoor or outdoor, which is defined as a gathering of over fifty (50) people in any one location 

The Summit County order exempts the following individuals from wearing a face covering:

  • Individuals age two years or under
  • Individuals with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering
  • Individuals who are hearing impaired, or communicating with an individual who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication
  • Individuals for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the individual related to their work, as determined by local, state or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines
  • Individuals who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service
  • Individuals who are seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, while they are eating or drinking
  • Individuals who are purchasing a product or receiving a service that requires identification may briefly remove a face covering, as necessary, so that the retailer or service provider can verify identity 

The Summit County order also requires all “businesses open to the public where face coverings are required hereunder, [] [to] post a notice in form and substance promulgated by the Summit County Health Department, in a clearly visible location at or near the entrance to such place of business, that declares that face coverings are to be worn by order of the Summit County Health Department.” The Order continues until September 1, 2020, unless extending or rescinded.  

These orders highlight the importance of face coverings in controlling the spread of COVID-19 and highlight again the importance of employers requiring face coverings at work.  

As discussed in previous updates, if any employee expresses reservations on wearing a face covering at work on medical or religious grounds, an employer should engage in the interactive process to discuss a potential compromise that could accompany the need for safety in the work place with the employee’s medical or religious need. For more information, contact Christina Jepson by calling (801) 536-6820 or send an email to cjepson@parsonsbehle.com or call Sean Monson at (801) 536-6714 or send an email to smonson@parsonsbehle.com.