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Mayor Cownie Orders Mask Mandate in Des Moines; Police Ready to Hand Out Masks, Not Citations

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Des Moines, Iowa — Mayor Frank Cownie is mandating everyone in the city of Des Moines wear a mask in public when social distancing isn’t possible and telling businesses to turn away any customer not wearing a mask.

Cownie issued the proclamation via a press release posted online on Wednesday afternoon. The proclamation requires everyone to wear a mask or face shield when outside their home and unable to stay six-feet away from others. This includes inside businesses and public transportation. Businesses are also instructed to post signs requiring customers to wear masks and to turn away any customers who refuse.

Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert says that officers will be focused on handing out masks, not citations. Officers have 10,000 masks ready to distribute to anyone in need.

Des Moines joins four other Iowa cities that have issued mask mandates including Dubuque, Iowa City, Mount Vernon and Muscatine.

The City of Des Moines is providing free masks through several partners:

  • Des Moines Parks and Recreation
  • Des Moines Public Library
  • DART
  • Blank Park Zoo
  • YMCA of Greater Des Moines
  • Central Iowa Shelter & Services
  • Des Moines Botanical Garden

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