Iowa City extends mask mandate until November

Mayor Bruce Teague extended the mask mandate for Iowa City to Nov. 13. The original mandate was to expire on Sept. 15.


Nichole Harris/The Daily Iowan

Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague addresses the crowd at an Iowa City City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020.

Rachel Schilke, News Editor

The mask mandate for Iowa City has been extended into mid-November, almost two months longer than the original end date.Violation of the order is punishable by a simple misdemeanor.

In a press release from the City of Iowa City on Monday, Mayor Bruce Teague extended the order on Monday until Nov. 13. The mandate was originally set to expire on Sept. 15. 

The mandate, which requires everyone in Iowa City to wear a mask in public when social distancing is not possible, was issued by Mayor Bruce Teague on July 21 because of rising COVID-19 cases. Currently, there are 4,822 total cases in Johnson County, according to the New York Times

The University of Iowa released on Monday that there have been 1,804 cases of COVID-19 among students since the start of the fall semester, with 72 new student cases since Sept. 11.

Included in the new extended mandate was a change in the minimum fine for violating the order. The fine for a simple misdemeanor, first offense will be $105, with a second offense costing $855. A citation will be given as a last resort to obtain compliance, the release said.

“Because we know that face masks reduce the risks of transmitting COVID-19,” Teague told the  The Daily Iowan on July 20, “…mandating masks is necessary to protect the health and welfare of our residents and visitors.”

The resolution includes exceptions for those who are not required to wear masks: 

  • Anyone two-years-old or younger
  • Anyone with trouble breathing, on oxygen or ventilator
  • Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or others unable to remove a face covering without assistance
  • Anyone who has been told by a medical, legal, or behavioral  health professional not to wear a face covering
  • Anyone actively engaged on a public safety role, including but not limited to law enforcement, firefighters, or emergency response personnel 

The release said those who wish to report a violation for individuals can call the routine police business phone number, and those wishing to file a complaint against a restaurant, bar, or business with alcohol involved can do so at the State of Iowa’s Alcoholic Beverages Division.

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