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Students and staff who don’t wear masks in Utah schools can be charged with a misdemeanor

Utah

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(CNN) — K-12 students and teachers in Utah now can be charged with a misdemeanor for not wearing a mask.

Gov. Gary Herbert issued an order on July 17 requiring masks on school property and buses. While Utah does not have a statewide mandate, all students, teachers, staff and visitors on school property must wear a mask.

Violating the order would be the same as violating any mandate, which is a class B misdemeanor. That is punishable by a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000, according to the Utah Judiciary.

Enforcing the mask mandate in schools is left up to local jurisdictions, officials said this week.

“The mask mandate is not intended to penalize students, parents or teachers — it’s intended to create a universal standard of a safe, common sense practice. All mandates make a Class B misdemeanor the default penalty, but any enforcement of this would be on the local level,” Anna Lehnardt, director of communications for Herbert, said in a statement to CNN.

Utah currently has at least 47,521 Covid-19 cases and 377 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

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