Linn Co. Public Health Director urges Iowa Governor to allow mask mandates in schools

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 12:58 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Linn County’s Public Health Director took to Twitter to urge Iowa’s Governor to allow schools to require masks for students and staff when they return to the classroom this month as COVID-19 spread rises.

“May I w/ utmost humility as a public health scientist & practitioner urge @KimReynoldsIA, to adopt a state-wide layered mitigation approach, including mask, to contain the virus? Or give this power to locals. #Iowa schools are reopening & #COVID scene doesn’t look good.” Dr. Pramod Dwivedi wrote on Twitter

Iowa lawmakers passed a law this past Spring, and Governor Kim Reynolds signed it late at night, immediately barring school districts in Iowa from mandating masks for students and staff. That has drawn protest from Iowa health officials and parents as the start of school approaches.

Governor Kim Reynolds told KCRG-TV9 she did not see any data showing masks helped prevent spread in schools, arguing that cases spread last year in all states, regardless of precautions like masks in schools. She also questioned the science behind the CDC recommendations for masks in schools.

“So right now, I’d like to see data, they’re not very transparent with the data I’ve asked for a lot of data on their requirement for mask and they have not been forthcoming,” Gov. Reynolds said.

However, the CDC has published studies along with its guidance urging masks be required in schools to prevent spread of COVID-19, particularly among students under age 12 who cannot be vaccinated yet.

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