Story County Health Department Votes to Remove Fines from Face Mask Order

AMES, Iowa - Story County could be moving to remove penalties from a proposed face mask order.

The county health department has voted to withdraw them after originally calling for fines against people who don't wear masks.

The Ames Tribune reports the Story County Board of Supervisors will now vote on whether to pass the order without the fines.

The supervisors two weeks ago sent the proposal back to the health department asking for the penalties to be removed until Governor Kim Reynolds authorizes them.

Reynolds has declined to impose a statewide mask order, and the state has determined that local communities don't have the authority to enforce their own.

The Story County health department's original version carried fines ranging from $65 to $625, depending on previous violations, if any.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends face coverings to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force called for Iowa to impose a face mask order on at least two occasions after the state experienced a spike in cases.

Iowa is currently tied with the 8th highest rates of COVID-19 cases in the country.

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