Masks are back at this Des Moines coffee shop

Coronavirus Impacting Iowa

DES MOINES, IOWA — A Des Moines restaurant is requiring its customers to wear masks due to high cases in Polk County. The Slow Down Coffee Company in Highland Park added a mask requirement on Wednesday.

“Over the last couple weeks, the transmission rate in Polk County has gone [from substantial to being a high transmission rate in our community, so we have decided to reinstate mask policies,” said Kara Kelso, the co-owner of the Slow Down Coffee Company.

Kara co-owns the shop with her husband, Drew Kelso.

“We’re a very community based here, and basically, we just see it as an act of care for our community, not as a political statement, not as anything crazy we’re just really doing it to protect our people,” said Kara.

For customers who live with a compromised immune system, they’re happy to see the mask requirement.

“I’ve had bouts of pneumonia all my life. I was happy to see that they had a mask mandate,” said Sarah Bowers, a customer.

However, some customers feel indifferent about the business’s decision.

“Small business owners are taking it into their own hands as far as mandating things,” said

“I’m totally indifferent, maybe pretty cool about it. You have individuals using their voices. Individual independent business owners are staying up to what they believe in to try to help out their neighbors truly.” said customer Calvin Johannsen.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the Delta variant recommends all individuals in Polk County get vaccinated or wear masks indoors if they are not vaccinated.

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