Medical groups call for Iowa governor to require masks
DES MOINES (AP) — Iowa physician groups are urging Gov. Kim Reynolds to order the public to wear masks as cases continue to rise.
The Des Moines Register reports that the Iowa Medical Society and 14 other health-professional groups said Monday in a letter to the governor that “widespread use of cloth masks in public settings will dramatically slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.”
The Republican governor has encouraged Iowans to “mask up,” but she has rebuffed calls to join more than half of other states in requiring it.
“Gov. Reynolds encourages Iowans who are interacting with others where social distancing is impossible to wear masks. But she does not believe a governmental mask mandate is appropriate,” spokesperson Pat Garrett said last week. He said Monday that her stance remains the same.
Numbers compiled by Iowa health officials show more than 800 cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the state over the weekend, bringing the total confirmed cases in Iowa to more than 42,500 since the outbreak began.
The state’s coronavirus tracking portal also showed a dozen deaths over the weekend from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. That brought the state’s total as of Monday morning to 832.