CEDAR RAPIDS — Mayor Brad Hart, one of several Iowa mayors who has required people to wear masks to curb the spread of COVID-19, said Tuesday he has recovered after contracting the virus in September.
Hart said he received a positive COVID-19 test result Sept. 23 and is not aware of how or where he contracted the virus.
He said it is “highly likely” that his wife, who tested positive for the virus Sept. 27, contracted COVID-19 from him.
“We each had minor symptoms, no fever and have fully recovered,” Hart said. “I have been following the advice of medical professionals and regularly wear masks in public and physically distance at least 6 feet from others whenever possible.”
The Cedar Rapids mayor was in the City Council chambers inside City Hall for the council meeting Sept. 22, before he said he was tested for COVID-19. At that time, he said “my symptoms were almost gone and, as usual, no one at the council meeting was within 6 feet of me. I wore a mask except when seated and conducting the meeting.”
Those presenting at the meeting come into the room one at a time wearing masks, in addition to Hart and others present, including City Manager Jeff Pomeranz, City Clerk Amy Stevenson and City Attorney Jim Flitz. The nine-member council still conducts meetings virtually because of the pandemic.
Because of the several feet of distance maintained between attendees at the council meetings, Hart said he was not aware of any city employees who needed to self-quarantine because of his COVID-19 diagnosis.
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City staff and council members have largely conducted business virtually since March when the pandemic first prompted businesses to close, and he said he continued to do so without disruption after testing positive for COVID-19.
Cedar Rapids in September joined at least six other Iowa cities — Des Moines, Iowa City, Ames, Dubuque, Mount Vernon and Muscatine — in requiring masks be worn in public as a measure to slow the spread of COVID-19, despite Gov. Kim Reynolds’ insistence that local governments lack authority to enact such mandates.
The city’s emergency proclamation Hart signed Sept. 2 focuses on education, emphasizing the need for health and safety in the community. Cedar Rapids police have face coverings available to distribute to residents not following the rule.
Hart said he always thought mask-wearing was an important COVID-19 mitigation tool because it helps protect others.
“The Cedar Rapids mask mandate remains in place, and I believe everyone should wear a mask in public unless they have a health reason that prevents them from doing so,” Hart said. “Wearing a mask is not always comfortable, but it seems to me a small sacrifice to protect others and to help slow the spread of the virus.”
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