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Utah Area presidency urges Latter-day Saints in the state to wear masks in public

Registered nurse Beth Ann Friel speaks with Travis at a COVID-19 test center at Intermountain Healthcare's Salt Lake Clinic on Friday, July 10, 2020. Officials from Intermountain Healthcare, University of Utah Health, MountainStar Healthcare and Steward Health Care fear that if COVID-19 cases continue to spike, they will no longer be able to effectively manage all the patients. Credit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Cut fabric is stacked and ready to be sorted into home sewing kits at the Viridian Library in West Jordan on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. Salt Lake County and Stitching Hearts Worldwide have partnered to make 250,000 face masks with the help of volunteers. Credit: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

As Utah health officials reported a state single-day record of 867 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, July 10, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints urged the state’s residents to wear face masks.

“We ask all Latter-day Saints in the Utah Area to be good citizens by wearing face coverings when in public,” wrote Elder Craig C. Christensen, Elder Randy D. Funk and Elder Walter F. González — the Utah Area presidency — in a letter to members in the state. “Doing so will help promote the health and general welfare of all.”

As of Friday, Utah had seen 28,223 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 207 total deaths. Two new deaths were also reported in Utah on Friday.

“We are in the midst of a global pandemic unlike any the world has experienced in more than a century,” wrote the leaders, all General Authority Seventies. “The effects of this escalating health crisis are being felt everywhere, with incidents of COVID-19 infection rising dramatically especially in the United States, including in Utah. Latter-day Saints are not immune.

“Just today, more than 800 new infections were reported in our state. A growing chorus of medical authorities has confirmed that the simple wearing of a face covering when in public and when social distancing is not possible will significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19. This is true both indoors and outdoors.”

The letter expressed appreciation for the care Latter-day Saints have exhibited in returning to sacrament meetings by wearing face masks.

“We are most grateful for all you do to minister to one another and to your neighbors. Please join with us now in common purpose for the blessing and benefit of all.”

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