Two days before the uprising of the mask’s mandate across the state of Utah, local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were instructed to begin developing plans to return to all regular Church services and activities.
The Utah Area Presidency sent a letter on Thursday to stake presidents, each overseeing several congregations, asking them to take responsibility for how church members in their areas resume regular meetings.
“As infection rates in Utah continue to decline and vaccinations increase significantly, we are approaching a time when we will be able to return to our normal church meetings and activities,” the letter states.
The Utah pandemic “final bill”, signed in March, ends the term of the state’s mask on Saturday. A city and a county decided to continue the mask’s mandate. Salt Lake City invoked emergency powers on Wednesday to continue demanding facial coverage in public. Grand County said the masks will be mandatory until June 15.
Thursday’s letter said that the Utah Area Presidency had consulted senior Church leaders – a term used for the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles – and considered health guidelines.
“We now ask stake presidents, in consultation with bishops and others, to develop plans and take responsibility for how their stake members return to face-to-face church meetings and the activities of all organizations.”
The letter directs local leaders to follow area health guidelines and safety protocols, including masks and detachment, continue to broadcast Sunday worship services, and provide ways for some members to administer the sacrament in their homes, and continue classes. second-hour virtual tours or gather larger groups in spaces if they think it is the best.
Masks remain mandatory for Utah schools until June.
Utah’s final law for all other COVID-19 restrictions when the state reaches three benchmarks: a two-week COVID-19 case rate of less than 191 per 100,000; less than 15% of the beds in the intensive care unit occupied by patients with COVID-19; and reception by the state of at least 1.63 million vaccinations. In previous versions of these accounts, these benchmarks had lower limits.
The law ends COVID-19 restrictions at the state and local levels until July 1, even if these benchmarks have not been met.
Utah reported 483 new cases on Thursday, 10.3% of the highest total of cases reported in a single day on December 31.
Utah administered a total of 1,603,855 vaccines.
Here is the complete letter from the Utah Area Presidency:
We are deeply grateful for the leadership of stake presidents, bishops, and others in the Utah area who, during the COVID-19 pandemic, developed plans and implemented guidelines to allow our members to worship at home and in the Church in a safe and obedient manner. As infection rates in Utah continue to decline and vaccinations increase significantly, we are approaching a time when we will be able to return to our normal church meetings and activities.
In counsel with senior Church leaders, and taking into account the care described below, we now ask stake presidents, in consultation with bishops and others, to develop plans and take responsibility for how their stake members return to meetings. and personal church activities for all organizations.
Comply with all guidelines from state and local government agencies and continue to follow appropriate safety guidelines and protocols, including masks and clearance, as determined by stake presidencies.
Continue to broadcast worship services on Sundays as directed by the First Presidency and provide a means for some members to administer the sacrament at home.
Stake presidencies can continue with second-hour virtual classes (especially when multiple wards meet in the same building and meeting times overlap), meet in larger spaces, or implement other secure options.
The Utah Area Presidency