Former State Epidemiologist Wants State to Issue Mask Order

DES MOINES, Iowa - A former state epidemiologist wants Governor Kim Reynolds to impose a face mask requirement.

Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says efforts for residents to voluntarily wear a mask is not working. Quinlisk has written an opinion piece in the Des Moines Register, saying it's obvious that asking people to voluntarily wear masks is not working well enough.

She says a mask order is needed because the number of cases and hospitalizations in Iowa keeps rising.

Quinlisk served as the state epidemiologist for 24 years before retiring in 2018. She served under four governors - two Republicans and two Democrats - between 1994 and 2018.

Governor Reynolds officially encourages Iowans to wear masks when social distancing is not possible, but does not think a governmental mask order is appropriate.

The governors of more than half the U.S. state have some form of statewide mask order in place.

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