BREAKING: Iowa Governor And Supreme Court Clash Over Masks, Will New Restrictions Hit Iowa?
BREAKING NEWS: As the covid-19 delta variant rips through Iowa, a fierce battle is raging between Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Supreme Court over mask mandates and further mitigations.
On Friday, the chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court, Susan Christensen, whom Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed in 2018, signed an order making masks mandatory in public areas controlled by the court ruling — regardless of vaccination status — clashing with Reynolds’ state law banning mask mandates in public schools and other public areas.
Christensen based her order on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC has recommended mask usage in areas of “substantial” spread of covid-19, where there is a positive test rate of 8 percent or higher. The entire state of Iowa is over 8 percent, as all but one of Iowa’s 99 counties hits that metric, and the state has its highest level of hospitalizations since the January spike of the virus.
The CDC has leveled the mask advisory at all of the Iowa counties for weeks, since numbers of the delta variant began to run rampant in late July.
However, in May, Reynolds signed a law banning any city, county or school district from requiring masks, in direct opposition to the CDC recommendation, and since then she hasn’t wavered.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker brought back a statewide mask mandate for neighboring Illinois on Monday, despite the state having lower overall numbers than Iowa.
U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has blasted Reynolds’ decision, calling it “against science-based strategies for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and contrary to CDC guidance for preventing the spread of the virus.”
For ongoing coverage of this issue and covid-19 in Illinois and Iowa, continue to keep an eye on your free, fact-based alternative media, QuadCities.com.