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Iowa City mayor issues mask order without set end date

Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague announced in a news release Wednesday that he has “indefinitely extended” the mask order he established Aug. 19 “due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

Under the order, every person in Iowa City must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth outside (when social distancing of 6 feet is not possible) and inside public buildings, including grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, retail stores, restaurants and bars, public school buildings, government buildings, University of Iowa academic buildings and business offices, houses of worship and movie theaters.

The order became effective at 12:01 a.m. Sept. 30 and will remain “until the order is rescinded,” the release said.

Iowa City Community School District’s school board reinstated a mask mandate that went into effect Sept. 15.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pratt extended on Sept. 27 a temporary restraining order that blocked House File 847, which prohibited school districts from placing mask mandates.

“Because Plaintiffs have shown that Iowa Code section 280.31’s ban on mask mandates in schools substantially increases their risk of contracting the virus that causes COVID-19 and that due to their various medical conditions they are at an increased risk of severe illness or death, Plaintiffs have demonstrated that an irreparable harm exists,” Pratt wrote.

Reynolds released a statement Sept. 13 criticizing Pratt’s decision.

“Today, a federal judge unilaterally overturned a state law, ignored the decision by our elected legislature and took away parents’ ability to decide what’s best for their child,” she said. “We will appeal and exercise every legal option we have to uphold state law and defend the rights and liberties afforded to any American citizen protected by our Constitution.”

Alex Murphy, Gov. Reynold’s communications director, told The Center Square in an emailed statement that the governor’s office had “no comment” regarding Teague’s mask order.

The University of Iowa was unable to respond by press time to The Center Square’s request for comment.

This article was originally posted on Iowa City mayor issues mask order without set end date

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