Usage of Face Masks in Iowa Schools Being Looked at

DES MOINES, Iowa - There's some agreement between educators and the state in the need for more widespread use of face masks in Iowa schools.

The state compared school districts in northwest Iowa, which has been heavily hit with COVID-19 infections, and found districts that require face masks have a much lower rate for cases. State Epidemiologist Caitlin Pedati said four school districts in Sioux County were examined - one that requires face masks and three that do not.

The Des Moines Register reports a study by the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) shows 40 percent of school districts don’t require masks for all students and staff.

The association's president has expressed strong support of face mask usage in classrooms.

“At this stage in the pandemic, we know there is no wiggle room. This virus finds a way to spread,” said ISEA President Mike Beranek. “So, either you are serious about keeping students, school employees and your community safe, or you are not. The data is clear. Masking helps stop the spread.”

Iowa has no mandate for face mask usage. Governor Kim Reynolds has encouraged usage, while declining to issue any mask order since the pandemic took hold in March.

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