The city of Cedar Rapids officially joined five other Iowa cities on Wednesday that have mask mandates in the face of rising coronavirus cases. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that Mayor Brad Hart signed the proclamation requiring masks be worn whenever you are out in public.
Cedar Rapids now joins Des Moines, Iowa City, Dubuque, Mt. Vernon, and Muscatine as cities that have mask mandates in place. This despite the fact that many people in state government continue to say that cities lack the authority to do so. The Gazette reports that the proclamation signed by the mayor says that the trend of rising case numbers put “the healthcare system and city residents in immediate danger.” Mayor Hart also stated that a mask mandate is “more critical than ever to slow the spread in our community.”
So what about the enforcement of the mandate? The Gazette reports that the cities enforcement will center on education, focusing on the health and safety of the community. The Cedar Rapids Police Department will have face coverings available to distribute to people found not wearing them. Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor or municipal infraction.
Citizens are required to wear a mask in public places including:
- Public transportation
- Outdoor spaces in unable to be at least 6 feet away from others.
- Indoor settings, such as grocery stores, retails stores, and other areas that are not a person’s home.
Businesses may not serve customers or allow customers to enter their building without a face covering. People who are exempt from the order include children under the age of 2, residents with breathing problems, and those who have been told not to wear a mask due to medical issues.