St. George Mayor dares residents to mask up; Iron County leads in coronavirus cases for a change

Stock image. | Photo by kovop58, iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — As coronavirus cases continued to surge in Southern Utah Sunday, the mayor of St. George challenged local residents to start wearing masks and show them off on social media.

St. George Mayor Jon Pike, in a video released on Facebook, put up a social media challenge to not only wear masks when social distancing is not possible but show them off.

Pike is encouraging residents to take snap selfies of themselves wearing their masks and post it to social media sites using the hashtag #maskupSTG.

“To have a little bit of fun, I would love for you to take your mask and share it on social media and see who has the best masks,” Pike said.

A large number of coronavirus cases in the last week in St. George has spearheaded a 33.2% increase in Washington County over the last week (from 274 to 365 cases). Of the cases that have been diagnosed in Washington County, 265 of them have been in St. George, according to the Utah Department of Health.

St. George Mayor Jon Pike tries on a Dixie State mask during a Facebook video urging residents to #maskupstg. | Facebook screenshot, St. George News

While the move into the lower yellow risk alert on May 16 allowed for all businesses to reopen throughout the state, health departments still recommend for social distancing of 6 feet or more to be maintained and for face coverings to be worn when that can’t be maintained.

“Masks are mostly to help avoid in other people getting the illness, especially if you might have it and not have symptoms,” Pike said. “If we have symptoms, we should be staying home.”

Pike’s #maskupSTG Facebook video can be seen at the end of the story.

Coronavirus cases update

For the first time in two months, Iron County led in new coronavirus cases in Southern Utah on Sunday as the large recent spike in Washington County simmered down for a day.

After three straight days that set new records in Southern Utah for new coronavirus diagnoses, there were 17 new cases announced by the Southwest Utah Public Health Department on Sunday – still high but not a record-breaker. 

What was unusual is for the first time in a while, Iron County led in new cases over their Washington County neighbors to the south.

There were nine new cases in Iron County, which was a one-day increase of 15% (from 60 to 69 cases). Washington County added eight new cases to its total.

Also unusual was there were no additional reports of people who have recovered from the virus or gone more than three weeks with the virus without passing away.

After a week of rising, hospitalizations remained steady for the second straight day with 17 Southern Utahns currently in the hospital with COVID-19.

COVID-19 information resources

Southern Utah coronavirus count (as of May 31, 2020, one-day increase in parentheses)

Positive COVID-19 tests: 440 (17 new)

  • Washington County: 365 (8 new)
  • Iron County: 69 (9 new)
  • Garfield County: 3
  • Kane County: 3
  • Beaver County: 0

Deaths: 4

  • Washington County: 3
  • Iron County: 1

Currently hospitalized: 17 (1 released)

Recovered: 243 (0 new).

Tested: 11,184 (0 new tests)


Take a selfie with your mask and share it on social media with the hashtag #MaskUpSTG Remember to wear a mask when in…

Posted by Jon Pike on Saturday, May 30, 2020

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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