Iowa City’s mayor says he’ll issue a citywide mask requirement today for people in all public places.

Mayor Bruce Teague made the announcement at a meeting last night, where elected officials across Johnson County discussed their desire for face covering rules.

“I’m going to do an order for masks,” Teague says, “because it is critical that we do what we can to protect our citizens within Iowa City. I would urge any other mayors that are on this call to do the same thing for their city.”

The governor and attorney general say local mask mandates are not legally enforceable, but Teague disagrees, pointing to state law that empowers mayors during emergencies.

The mayor of Muscatine has also issued such an order, but has struggled to get it implemented because of the legal uncertainty.

(By Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio)