White House Task Force Singles Out Iowa for Exponential COVID-19 Spread

DES MOINES, Iowa - The latest White House Coronavirus Task Force report calls the spread of COVID-19 in Iowa "exponential and unyielding."

It said "current mitigation efforts are inadequate and must be increased to flatten the curve."

The report, which was released to the state Sunday, called for Iowa's mask requirement to be expanded to all public settings.

Governor Kim Reynolds issued a new mandate the following day, which requires masks in public when social distancing is not possible.

Reynolds previously declined to issue a mask order numerous times, saying enforcement would not be possible.

She also says that decision was sound, based on results in other states. “You look at other state’s that have had a mask mandate for months and they’re seeing their cases continue to rise,” Reynolds said at her Tuesday press conference.

Reynolds also says the effectiveness of masks is not certain. “There’s science on both sides and you know that, " said Reynolds. " If you look you can find whatever you want to support wherever you’re at."

The White House Task Force report also calls for restaurants to be limited to 25 percent capacity indoors, and for bar hours to be limited until there's a decrease in new COVID-19 cases and positivity rates.

Reynolds latest proclamation calls for bars and restaurants to close at 10 pm, but does not limit capacity.

In addition, the Task Force report repeats a recommendation it's made for Iowa numerous times - active testing in schools for teachers and students where cases are increasing.

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