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Coronavirus

White House recommends statewide mask mandate for Iowa

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DES MOINES –áThe White House COVID-19 Task Force recommends that Iowa implement a statewide mask mandate due to high COVID-19 transmission, according to reporting from Iowa Public Radio.

According to an Aug. 30 White House COVID-19 Task Force report obtained by Iowa Public Radio, Iowa remains in the red zone for COVID-19 cases with highest case rate in the country.

The report said Iowa’s red zone status indicates more than 100 new cases per 100,000 population.

The task force report also indicates that Iowa is in the red zone for test positivity, with the county’s fifth-highest positivity rate.

Among the White House COVID-19 Task Force’s recommendations are a mask mandate across the state, bar closures and restricted restaurant capacity and comprehensive plans for university towns to scale testing among students.

The task force reports that COVID-19 cases in Polk, Johnston and Story counties account for 35.3% of the state’s new cases.

The report also said 62% of counties in Iowa have community transmission of the virus and that 28% have high “red zone” transmission.

A previous report from the task force recommended a mask mandate for Iowa.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a news conference Thursday that she believes mask mandates are “not enforceable.”

Reynolds mandated the closure of bars in six Iowa counties to slow COVID-19 spread.

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