Mayor of Eastern Iowa's Muscatine Issue Face Mask Order

Face mask

MUSCATINE, Iowa - The mayor of eastern Iowa's Muscatine is requiring residents wear a face mask in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The order is in effect as of Monday morning at 6 a.m., and calls for face masks in any indoor or outdoor public setting.

Mayor Diana Broderson was loudly booed by opponents during her press conference to announce the order. She pointed to large increases in other eastern Iowa counties as a reason for issuing the mandate.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller's office has stated that city and county governments are not able to issue local mask orders unless they're consistent with Governor Kim Reynolds emergency declarations.

Reynolds has not required face masks or coverings at any point during the pandemic.

Guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health says face coverings can help reduce the spread of the virus when proper social distancing is not possible. Governor Reynolds has only said people should follow the department's guidelines.

Mayor Broderson indicated she would issue the face mask order for Muscatine last week.

Exceptions to her mandate include when people are seated at a restaurant, while people are involved in outdoor or indoor sports such as walking and biking, and where a 6-foot social distance can be maintained.

The proclamation states children under age two, people with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering are also exempt from the mandate. People who are incarcerated are also exempt.

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