Mayor issues mask order for Iowa City

Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague announces his new mask order for the city on Tuesday. CREDIT KCRG-TV9

By CBJ News Staff

People conducting business or gathering in a public place in Iowa City must now wear a face covering, according to an order issued Tuesday by Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague.

The order states that a face covering that covers the nose and mouth must be worn in all public spaces, including grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware and retail stores, and on public transportation. People outside must wear a mask if keeping six feet away from others is not possible.

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, according to the order. Businesses must also post signs at the entrance of their business to instruct customers of the legal obligation to wear face covering.

People are exempt for the face covering order when:

• alone or in presence of only household members
• traveling in personal vehicle alone or with household members
• jogging or biking outside
• at a restaurant in the process of eating or drinking
• obtaining a service that requires temporary removal or a face coverings, such as a dentist or doctor visit
• 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 a 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, a violation of the order given can be punishable as a simple misdemeanor. The order is set to expire Sept. 15, 2020.

The mayor’s order defies an earlier order from Gov. Kim Reynolds, which says that local officials do not have the authority to mandate masks, news partner KCRG-TV9 reports. Iowa City’s local mandate is the second in the state, following one instituted in Muscatine by Mayor Diana Broderson on July 5. CBJ