DES MOINES, Iowa - Groups representing thousands of Iowa doctors and medical professionals are urging Governor Kim Reynolds to impose a statewide face mask order.
The heads of the 15 groups sent a letter to Reynolds Monday, stating that mandatory public mask use must be a part of efforts to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
The letter cites a 64 percent increase in COVID-19 cases since late June. It also notes University of Iowa research shows mandating face mask use in public is associated with a decline in the daily COVID-19 growth rate.
Governor Reynolds has declined to issue a statewide face mask order, and the attorney general's office has determined local communities don't have the power to issue their own mask orders.
More than half of all governors nationwide have issued some form of a face mask order.
The Iowa Board of Medicine did not sign Monday's letter asking for a mandate. It was signed by the presidents of the Iowa Medical Society and the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians.