DES MOINES, Iowa — As of Wednesday afternoon, people in Des Moines are required to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible.
“It’s been a lot of just putting off. You know what I mean like they wouldn’t really address it right away or, or when they would it’s kind of like a vague answer,” Des Moines Resident Veronica Eclatt said.
And now the answer is clear after Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie orders a city-wide mask mandate, but some people are still confused.
“I’m generally just outside with my dog so I’m not sure if that means that like I need to be wearing something at this time or if it’s something where it’s more like indoor activities or outdoor activities are going to be more surrounded by people,” Des Moines Resident Jen Newman said.
The mask mandate only requires face coverings when social distancing isn’t possible.
“I feel a lot better outside, especially if you don’t get near anyone like it’s literally fine,” Eclatt said.
Which is what many folks were doing while walking around the PappaJohn Sculpture Park on Wednesday Afternoon.
“There’s enough space to create that distance. But the second I walk into a building I definitely put the mask on,” Des Moines Resident Damen LaPalm said.
But not everyone thinks the mask mandate is needed.
“Of course, I put our mask on to go inside the store mainly for the comfort of the employees. Like it’s not necessary at all, especially not outside, because from what we were told, it’s not specifically airborne, it’s based off of the saliva and spit that flies around,” Dasianique Peeples said. Peeple’s partner works in Des Moines
Others said it’s about time Des Moines had mask requirements.
“It seems to be kind of coinciding with my, my daughter just started school today. I know there was a suit involved with DMPS recently so seems a little reactionary, for sure,” LaPalm said.
Des Moines joins four other Iowa cities that have issued mask mandates including Dubuque, Iowa City, Mount Vernon and Muscatine.