Why are so many not complying with governor’s mandate?

Letters to the editor:

Why are so many not complying

with governor’s mandate?




Thank you for your coverage of the pandemic in Sanpete County over the past several months.  As cases continue to increase here and throughout the state, the information you provide is important to the daily decisions people make about how to protect themselves, especially older people like me and people with pre-existing conditions.

I am concerned that I’m seeing quite a few Sanpete businesses and individuals who are not complying with mandated and recommended public health measures needed to minimize deaths and serious illness from COVID-19. I think it would be helpful for the Messenger to report on compliance, or lack of compliance, in the county so readers can decide what further precautions to take on their own.

Even after the governor issued his order mandating masks in public in Sanpete through Oct. 29, I’ve seen many people visit local businesses without masks. I’ve also seen many businesses not complying with the governor’s order. For example, I recently dined at five restaurants in four different Sanpete towns.  Waiters and other employees were working without masks at four of the five restaurants, and wait staff were in close proximity with customers. At one of the four restaurants, the owners candidly announced on a sign on the door, “Enter at your own risk.” The one restaurant following all the recommended precautions was Coffee Depot in Mt. Pleasant.

Similarly, some or all staff in several local retail businesses have not been wearing masks.  One business featured a sign noting the governor’s order requiring masks, yet the three employees inside were without masks. I am grateful that all Terrel’s employees are wearing masks, even if some of their customers are not—despite large signs at the entrance pleading with customers to wear masks.

My experience also raises some other questions that the Messenger also might consider pursuing:  Are those who are not taking precautions uninformed or misinformed?  What are Sanpete local governments doing to increase compliance with public health mandates and recommendations?  Is the state enforcing the governor’s order at all?  Given Sanpete’s rising case count, will the state extend the mask mandate beyond Oct. 29?

As you know, the case count continues to rise in Sanpete County; yesterday the count rose another 25 cases. Utah is now one of the nation’s hot spots, with cases continuing to rise.  Clearly the pandemic is not under control in Utah, and unless businesses and individuals begin to take seriously the public health measures recommended by the CDC and required by the state, the tragic toll of serious illnesses and deaths will continue to rise. For my part, I am now only patronizing Sanpete businesses that follow the recommended public health precautions.

Thanks for continuing to keep us informed in these difficult times.


Jim Ketcham-Colwill,

Mt. Pleasant

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