Currently, 34 states have mandated wearing masks in public, Iowa is NOT one of them. Throughout this whole ordeal, Iowa has always been one of the state's with the fewest restrictions, including being only 1 of 2 states that never had a "lockdown".

However, state officials have encouraged mask use, but face coverings are not among the state's public health provisions. Governor Kim Reynolds has said, cities and counties do not have the authority to enact mask mandates. That being said, on Monday night, the Waterloo City Council passed a resolution adopting a mask mandate on a 6-1 vote.

The mask resolution is pretty standard compared to what many states have enacted. Here are the provisions as reported in the WCF Courier:

  • Face coverings in public - when people aren’t able to maintain a distance of six feet from others as well as in businesses, city buildings, public transportation and ride sharing.
  • Masks won’t be required when alone or with household members or while traveling in a personal vehicle.
  • Other exemptions include when exercising, while obtaining services that require the temporary removal of face coverings and when eating or drinking at establishments.
  • Children under 2 are exempt, as are people with some medical conditions, public safety workers and people who are unconscious or incapacitated.

The aim of this mask mandate will be volunteer compliance and not punishment. For the naysayers, you don't have to worry, there will be no "mask police" running around town shaming you into wearing a mask or handing out tickets. However, enforcement will be up to the mayor or his designee and one City Council member suggested that penalties could possibly be looked at in the future for non-compliance. It's not clear when the mask mandate will go into effect.

If you're wondering about Cedar Falls...their City Council will discuss a potential mask resolution at a meeting later this week.

Here's information from the Mayo Clinic regarding wearing masks in public:

"Asking everyone to wear cloth masks can help reduce the spread of the virus by people who have COVID-19 but don't realize it. Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus when they are widely used by people in public settings."

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