Board of Regents President still says no mask mandate

At the state Board of Regents meeting Thursday, President Mike Richards said the board will keep following new COVID-19 data and adjust its decision on the situation.

Board+of+Regents+Office+member+Mark+Braun%2C+President+Michael+Richards%2C+and+President+Pro+Tem+Sherry+Bates+listen+to+a+speaker+during+the+state+of+Iowa+Board+of+Regents+meeting+in+Reiman+Ballroom+at+the+Alumni+Center+in+Ames%2C+Iowa%2C+on+Thursday%2C+Sept.+16%2C+2021.+%28Grace+Smith%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29

Grace Smith

Board of Regents Office member Mark Braun, President Michael Richards, and President Pro Tem Sherry Bates listen to a speaker during the state of Iowa Board of Regents meeting in Reiman Ballroom at the Alumni Center in Ames, Iowa, on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. (Grace Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Emily Delgado, News Reporter


The Iowa state Board of Regents does not intend to let the universities it governs change policies around masking.

In the regents meeting Thursday, Regents President Mike Richards told reporters the governing body does not intend to put a mask mandate into place at this time.

“But we will keep following and adjust our thoughts based on the situation and the current time,” Richards said.

Richards said he does not foresee allowing individual campuses to decide to require masks.

Since the start of the school year, the 143 University of Iowa students have self-reported cases of COVID-19. The number of self-reported employee cases is lower than the number of student cases.

Currently, the university is not mandating masks or vaccines for students or staff but is highly encouraging their use. Richards said if there are data or facts on the ground, the regents will assess the situation.

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, a judge suspended the law, enabling Iowa City Community School District to impose a mask mandate in schools Monday. This ruling will not apply to regents’ universities.

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