How does the partial mask mandate function?


Sam McGrath

TBK Sports complex introduced new guidelines that only allow fitness members access. This comes with Kim Reynolds new restrictions that cover a broad amount of activities and events.

Sam McGrath, Business Manager

After months of recommending social distancing and masking, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds put in place a partial mask mandate as well as several other restrictions on gatherings, businesses and sports. These measures were made in an attempt to slow down the spread of COVID-19. 

Iowa has been experiencing COVID-19 upticks for the past few weeks. These numbers forced Reynolds’ hand to pass legislation that may help manage the spread of COVID-19. 

These new measures were enacted on Wednesday, Nov. 11. They primarily restrict gatherings, athletics  and employers. More specifically, gathering restrictions are aimed at the number of attendees for inside and outside events. If the number of attendees go over the number allowed then the gathering will be restricted. Employers are impacted by these new measures because Reynolds’ has suggested that they try to allow as many workers to work from home as possible. 

There are other restrictions as well. Restaurants and bars require distancing and smaller groups, personal service businesses require distancing and masks and recreational businesses ( bowling alleys, pool halls, etc.) require distancing and have group limitations.

Along with these new restrictions came the partial mask mandate. This means that masks are required under certain circumstances. Whenever citizens are in a public area and within six feet of individuals who are not family, they are required to wear a mask. This is why restaurants, bars and closer/prolonged contact establishments do not have to mandate masks. Businesses such as bowling alleys, pool halls, arcades, etc., are referred to as closer/prolonged contact establishments. Since they have taken measures to ensure individuals are staying six feet apart and more they are not required to mandate masks. 

Some believe that the governor is not going far enough with the restrictions. Pam Cinadr, the nurse at PV, has reached out to the governor’s office to express her concerns about the recent restrictions not going far enough. “If we could get kids to stay home instead of going to parties and hanging out without masks we could flatten this curve in no time,” stated Cinadr. 

Although some members of the public have raised concerns that the recent mandate does not go far enough, many businesses have taken masking requirements into their own hands. “Even though it is a partial mask mandate, most of the stores and restaurants are requiring masks,” commented Cinadr. 

This has raised many concerns for PV students who go to the gyms like the YMCA and the TBK sports complex to workout. Many of these students are worried about proper breathing while wearing masks and lifting heavy weights.

Senior Koby West thinks the partial mask mandate is a good way to keep students safe outside of school to keep the school going, but had different views when it came to workouts. “I feel like you should only have to wear them if you want while in the gym, if you feel the need to wear them, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to,” said West. 

As of right now the governor’s partial mask mandate does not require masks for citizens in the gyms. However, with cases rising in Scott County, a mask requirement while in the gym is still a possibility.  

These new restrictions were introduced as more concerns about schools shutting down have come up. With these new restrictions, many students and staff are hoping that it will help students and teachers stay safe outside of school.