Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague has issued a proclamation requiring every person in the city to wear a face-covering when in a public place.
Teague wore a plastic face shield as he read a proclamation Tuesday in an online broadcast. “With more than 30,000 college students set to return to Iowa City in August, the time for acting is now. The scientific data and evidence is clear — face coverings and masks are a safe effective way to get cases down,” Teague said.
Teague said an uptick in cases prompted him to take action. “This simple act will help save lives, jobs, businesses, schools, and help our community regain some sense of normalcy as we stop transmission of this novel disease,” Teague said.
The proclamation defies Governor Kim Reynolds and the Attorney General — who said the state emergency order does not allow cities to require face coverings. Mayor Teague says he has the authority to issue the mask requirement under home rule.
“Chapter 364 of the Iowa Code reaffirms the constitutional grant of home rule authority to municipalities to exercise any power and perform any function it deems appropriate to protect and preserve the rights, privileges, and property of the city or its residents. And improve the peace, safety, health, welfare, and convenience of its residents,” the mayor read.
The proclamation says you could be charged with a simple misdemeanor for not wearing a mask. The mayor said citations shall be last resort to obtain compliance and the order will expire on September 15th. Masks are required outside where you can’t maintain a six-foot distance from others.