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Church First Presidency suggests local leaders determine mask policies



Last Friday, February 18, the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a change to recommendations regarding protocols for protection against the COVID-19 virus. The First Presidency now recommends local areas and stakes create guidelines regarding masks and health protections based on recommendations in their own locations. 

According to the announcement, “We are grateful that the Lord has heard the prayers of so many and provided the direction that has allowed us to navigate the global COVID-19 pandemic which, in some areas of the world, continues. As governments begin to modify the requirements for travel, masks, and other protective measures, we offer the following direction: 

We are now encouraging Area Presidencies, in consultation with stake presidencies, to determine on a local basis whether masks should be worn or other precautions should be observed in the various Church meetings and activities. In doing so, local leaders should consider the guidance of local health and government officials and local customs and conditions,” 

In the Utah Area over the past several months, mask use in wards and stake meetings of the Church has varied widely, even though the First Presidency urged all members to wear masks in an announcement on August 12, 2021, “To limit exposure to these viruses, we urge the use of face masks in public meetings whenever social distancing is not possible. To provide personal protection from such severe infections, we urge individuals to be vaccinated. Available vaccines have proven to be both safe and effective.”

Covid case counts have been decreasing lately, but Utah County health officials are still urging vaccinations and boosters, offering clinics at the following locations: 

Provo Towne Centre (Indoor clinic, by Dillard’s)

Spanish Fork Fairgrounds (Drive-thru clinic)


American Fork UCHD Clinic (Indoor clinic-599 S 500 E St #1)

Saratoga Springs (Drive-thru clinic, old Smith’s parking lot)

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