DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — With Iowa hospitals filling up and schools closing classrooms, Gov. Kim Reynolds dropped her longtime opposition to a statewide mask mandate and enacted a limited version of one Monday.
A proclamation signed by the governor requires everyone 2 or older to wear masks when in public, indoor spaces within 6 feet of others who aren’t member of their households for 15 minutes. This also applies to visitors and employees at state buildings. The mask requirement does not apply to in-classroom instruction, according to Pat Garrett, communications director for the governor’s office.
Reynolds also limited many indoor gatherings to no more than 15 people and outdoor gatherings to 30, including family get-togethers. This includes wedding and funeral receptions, family gatherings and conventions.
Reynolds declared that bars and restaurants cannot stay open for in-person service past 10 p.m. And she suspended all youth and adult sports and recreational activities, except for high school, college and professional sports.
The new measures go in effect at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17 and will continue until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 10, 2020.
Reynolds announced the steps in a televised speech. She said they would not be easy or popular, but that they were necessary to fight a virus that was threatening to overwhelm the state’s health care system.
Read the full proclamation here.