Iowa bans mask mandates while Twin Cities continue to enforce restrictions

Iowa is one of four Republican-led states that have outlawed mask mandates in recent weeks.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds/Facebook

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law on Thursday to ban mask mandates.

According to the Des Moines Register, the bill prevents schools, cities, and counties from mandating masks.

The bill was passed in a 53-35 vote in the House and 29-17 in the Senate during the last hours of Iowa’s legislative session. Within hours of its passing, the bill was sent to Gov. Reynolds to be signed.

“The state of Iowa is putting parents back in control of their child’s education and taking greater steps to protect the rights of all Iowans to make their own health care decisions,” said Reynolds. “I am proud to be a governor of a state that values personal responsibility and individual liberties. I want to thank the Iowa Legislature for their quick work in bringing this bill to my desk so that it can be signed into law.”

Reynolds has also rejected the idea of vaccine passports and “respects the personal choice” of Iowans.

Iowa is one of four Republican-led states that have outlawed mask mandates in recent weeks. Texas, Florida, and Utah have all approved similar legislation.

Meanwhile, in the Twin Cities, mask mandates remain largely unchanged. In one St. Paul elementary school, masks are still required during outdoor recess. This is a decision which appears to go against scientific evidence. One report from The New York Times shows that outdoor transmission rates may be as low as 0.1%

As for the rest of Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz has lifted the statewide mask mandate — prompted by new CDC guidelines. While the mandate has been dropped, Walz pleaded with Minnesotans to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. The CDC has announced that it is not necessary for vaccinated individuals to wear masks indoors or outside.