IOWA CITY – Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague has issued an order that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, every person in the City of Iowa City must wear a face covering when in a public place. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has resisted a call to mandate masks in the state and has said municipalities have no authority to mandate mask wearing.
The order, issued on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, states that a face covering that covers the nose and mouth must be worn in all public spaces. These spaces include, but are not limited to:
– Grocery stores
– Retail stores
– Outside if keeping six feet away from others is not possible
– Public transportation or private car service (including taxis, ride share, or car pooling)
No business open to the public may provide service to a customer or allow a customer to enter without the customer wearing a face covering. Businesses must post signs at the entrance of their business to instruct customers of the legal obligation to wear face covering.
Masks will also be mandated outside as when social distance (six feet of distance) is not possible with others.
Places and times where people are exempt from a face covering include:
– When alone or in presence of only household members
– Traveling in personal vehicle alone or with household members
– When jogging or biking outside
– While at a restaurant in the process of eating or drinking
– While obtaining a service that requires temporary removal or a face coverings, such as a dentist or doctor visit
– When federal or state law prohibits a face covering
Exceptions to the mask mandate include:
– 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
Pursuant to City Code Section 8-1-2, a violation of this order given by any police officer shall be unlawful and punishable as a simple misdemeanor. This order is set to expire September 15, 2020.