Mayor Bruce Teague has extended an order that was originally put into place July 21, 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The extended order requires that every person in the City of Iowa City must wear a face covering when in a public place.
The order, extended on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020, states that a face covering that covers the nose and mouth must be worn in all public spaces until January 15, 2021.
The extension comes as COVID-19 cases surge nationwide. With the Iowa City area is entering into influenza season, and people start spending more time indoors due to lower temperatures, there is also an inherent increase in the risk of spreading the virus within our community.
Also changed within the extended order is the minimum fine for violating the order.
Pursuant to City Code Section 8-1-2, a violation of this order given by any police officer shall be unlawful and punishable as a simple misdemeanor.
- The fine for the first offense being the minimum fine for a simple misdemeanor ($105).
- The fine for a second or subsequent offense being the maximum fine for a simple misdemeanor ($855).
- Citation shall be a last resort to obtain compliance.
Public spaces covered by the mandate include, but are not limited to:
- Grocery stores
- Hardware stores
- Retail stores
- Outside if keeping six feet away from others is not possible
- Public transportation or private car service (including taxis, ride share, or car pooling)
No business open to the public may provide service to a customer or allow a customer to enter without the customer wearing a face covering. Businesses must post signs at the entrance of their business to instruct customers of the legal obligation to wear a face covering.
Masks will also be mandated outside when social distance (six feet of distance) is not possible with others.
Those wishing to report any violations to the order can call the routine police business phone number at 319-356-6800. Anyone with questions about the order itself can call the City Attorney's Office at 319-356-5030.
Those wishing to file a complaint about a restaurant, bar, or event where alcohol is involved when it comes to not enforcing the above order can fill out an online form from the State of Iowa's Alcoholic Beverages Division.
Places and times where people are exempt from a face covering include:
- When alone or in presence of only household members
- Traveling in personal vehicle alone or with household members
- When jogging or biking outside
- While at a restaurant in the process of eating or drinking
- While obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of a face covering, such as a dentist or doctor visit
- When federal or state law prohibits a face covering
Exceptions to the mask mandate include:
- 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 ina public safety role, including but not limited to law enforcement, firefighters, or emergency response personnel
For the latest COVID-19 news from the City, visit icogv.org/Coronavirus.