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Tiffin Family Care health clinic not requiring masks for patients or staff despite Johnson County mandate

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 7:36 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A sign on the door at Tiffin Family Care has had some people upset.

It says, “We do not require face masks in this clinic. It is a personal choice. If you prefer our staff wear masks for your appointment please call us at 319-545-2222 before entering the building.”

Tiffin Family Care offers everything from family medicine to chiropractic care, even COVID-19 testing, according to their website. Still, they’re not requiring patients or staff to mask up even with a local mask mandate in place. At first, the Johnson County Health Department gave the business the benefit of the doubt, taking the education approach like they do with any business not following the rules.

“Our staff called just to try to gather information because again we thought maybe it’s a misunderstanding. We quickly discovered it was not a misunderstanding, it was a choice,” Susan Vileta, a health educator with Johnson County Public Health, said.

Vileta said the Health Department has received more complaints about the Tiffin clinic than any other business in Johnson County.

“A lot of calls, and some emails, and some social media messages. A lot of public feedback about Tiffin Family Care not requiring masks,” Vileta said.

Some people mistakenly think the clinic is affiliated with Mercy Iowa City, but it’s not. Tiffin Family Care is independently owned. Mercy Iowa City told KCRG-TV9 in an email, “To promote safe practices in Johnson County and throughout our community, we have reached out to Tiffin Family Care to ask them to remove this signage at their clinic.”

Johnson County Public Health told us they can’t technically enforce the mask mandate.

“You know we want folks to do the safest thing but we don’t have as a public health entity anyway, a mechanism for enforcement,” Vileta added.

We asked the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office about whether they can enforce the mandate when it’s a business choosing not to comply, and they said that they are looking into it.

We also reached out to the Iowa Board of Medicine who issues licenses for medical professionals like doctors and nurses, they told us if people are concerned about the clinic, they should file a complaint with the Board.

Tiffin Family Care did not respond to TV9′s email or phone call requesting comment on this story, but as of Monday night, the sign had been removed from their door.

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