"Try enforcing it" is the general reaction when you hear of a city issuing or extending a mask mandate, but according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Iowa City mayor Bruce Teague has done just that. There is some debate as to whether cities and municipalities have the authority to issue such mask mandates, as the state's Governor has not done so.

As of Monday, A $105 potential first-offense fine is in place for residents who don't follow the extended proclamation to wear a face-covering indoors and in all public spaces where 6 feet of social distancing is not possible. A business that remains open during the pandemic may not allow patrons who aren't wearing a mask. The businesses must also display signage at their entrances about the mask mandate.

The proclamation extends the mandate through November 13 under the above guidelines. First offenses face the possible $105 fine, with that increasing to $855 for second and subsequent offenses.

There are exceptions to the rule. Alone and with other household members, including while traveling alone or with household members in one's own vehicle, eating or drinking at a restaurant (after you've passed entry with a mask on), exercising outdoors, or receiving a service that requires removal of the mask, such as a doctor's appointment.

KWWL also says there are these exceptions:

  • Anyone two-years-old or younger
  • Anyone with trouble breathing, on oxygen or ventilator
  • Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or others unable to remove a face covering without assistance
  • Anyone who has been told by a medical, legal, or behavioral  health professional not to wear a face-covering
  • Anyone actively engaged on a public safety role, including but not limited to law enforcement, firefighters, or emergency response personnel

Call the Iowa City police business line to report violations (or complaints) or get more information at (319)356-6800.

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