As Covid-19 cases drop and vaccines are rolled out across the country, a handful of governors have abandoned masks mandates across the state, raising tensions with some city leaders maintaining their own. restrictions to combat new strains of the coronavirus.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds this month removed the state’s mask mandate and restrictions on social gatherings, after the case count and hospitalizations dropped by about 80% from the peak of fall and health programs. Vaccination in nursing homes and assisted living facilities began.
“We need to make sure that we are doing everything possible to protect Iowans, especially the most vulnerable,” the Republican governor said in an interview. “But I also have to balance the economies that support people trying to run a business or sustain their livelihood.”
Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City, and several other cities have no plans to follow the governor’s lead in abandoning the face-covering mandate, as several new strains of Covid-19 have reached the state and the launch of the vaccine takes longer. than expected.
“I think now is the time to be more diligent than ever,” said Frank Cownie, the Democratic mayor of Des Moines, who established his own mask term in August, several months before the state.