Everyone in Iowa City will need to wear face coverings inside city buildings starting Friday.
The policy change comes as Johnson County has moved from moderate to substantial COVID-19 transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Data Tracker.
Guidance shared by the CDC on July 27 says everyone, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status, should wear masks in areas of substantial or high transmission.
According to the University of Iowa Health Care’s COVID-19 data, there are currently 16 adult COVID-19 inpatients and one pediatric COVID-19 inpatient as of Wednesday. The positivity rate for symptomatic COVID-19 tests on Wednesday was 7 percent.
A statement shared by the City of Iowa City said the new guidance is the result of increased spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the state.
RELATED: Johnson County Public Health recommends indoor mask-wearing
As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, Johnson County Community Health Manager Sam Jarvis told the Johnson County Board of Supervisors during a meeting on Wednesday morning that the county was likely to reach substantial transmission soon.
On Wednesday afternoon, Johnson County Public Health recommended indoor mask-wearing for everyone in the county.
“The decision to require that masks be worn in City facilities was made for the health and safety of visitors to public facilities and for the staff who serve them,” the statement from the city stated. “All City buildings remain open to the public with the mask policy in effect.”
The release also stated residents who are concerned about conducting city business in person can avoid entering facilities by conducting their business online, by telephone, email, and by utilizing drop boxes.