116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — The city of Iowa City is lifting its mask order and civil emergency declaration after new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Masks will no longer be required inside city facilities as of Tuesday but still will be available to visitors, the city announced Monday.
"New cases of COVID-19 are decreasing and hospitalizations due to the illness continue to fall," Mayor Bruce Teague said in a statement. "I ask the entire Iowa City community to continue to do your part to prevent the spread of this disease. Make responsible choices. Isolate or quarantine when necessary. And wear a mask if you're a risk to others.“
The CDC on Friday announced new metrics to gauge a community’s level of COVID-19 risk and recommendations for appropriate precautions based on a community’s risk levels.
Teague issued Iowa City’s most recent mask order last August, requiring masks in all classrooms and indoor gathering spots, such as stores and restaurants. He extended the order indefinitely in September due to high transmission levels.
A state law says local officials cannot require business owners to issue mask requirements for their establishments, but Iowa City’s order placed the responsibility on individuals — not business owners — to comply.
The CDC now lists Johnson County as having “medium” community transmission where indoor mask wearing is advised for those considered to be at a high risk for severe illness. More than 70 percent of Americans are in low- to medium-risk areas of transmission where the looser mask guidance applies.
In counties with “high” transmission, wearing a mask indoors in public still is recommended. A county-level map of community transmission can be found at CDC.gov.
Linn County is also experiencing “medium” transmission. The city of Cedar Rapids and Linn County have both ended their respective mask mandates.
Masks still are required at Linn County Public Health.
The CDC and federal government still require masks on public transportation, which includes Iowa City buses. Masks will be required on Cedar Rapids Transit until at least March 18.
The Johnson County Board of Supervisors is expected to hear an update and recommendation from Johnson County Public Health about the county’s mask mandate during its work session Wednesday morning.
The county’s mask mandate for county buildings is set to expire on May 15 unless modified.
Just over 70 percent of Johnson County’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health. About 66 percent of Linn’s population is vaccinated against COVID-19.
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