Teague stands by mask mandate; no punishment planned if not followed

Published: Aug. 21, 2021 at 10:43 AM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - On Friday, Mayor Teague made it very clear: not wearing a face covering while out in public was breaking his order, but he added that there wasn’t a punishment for violators.

Teague said people may instead be stopped, handed a mask, and told about the importance of wearing a mask.

University of Iowa students start classes on Monday, and you can tell around the city. The downtown district was packed with people eating, shopping, and getting ready for school. Some were wearing masks, others were not.

“[Masks] aren’t fun,” Ali Maulsby, a freshman at the university, said. “They make me break out and sweaty.”

While Maulsby doesn’t exactly want to wear a face covering, she said she’ll deal with it if she was going to be told to wear one.

“I’m not a fan of wearing masks, but I think they will help,” Maulsby said. “I hope we can have class in person. If we have to wear a mask, I’ll do that.”

Others, like Michael Baker, a Hawkeye parent from Minnesota, were all for wearing a face-covering with his son starting Monday. He said the punishment for not wearing a mask wasn’t tough enough.

“They have a certain percentage of people that were going to look for those kinds of fights,” Baker said.

Teague said he, the city manager, or even law enforcement will approach people not wearing a face covering and tell them why they should. He said that talk was enough. It was something he learned from the city’s previous mandate, which did have a fine.

“It’s worth every minute of spending time to talk to someone about the reasons why they should wear a mask for themselves and the health of others,” Teague said. “I think that’s reward enough and punishment enough when we’re having conversations about what is important about the masks.”

At the end of the day, Teague said he wanted people to do the right thing and mask up to try and slow the spread, even if it wasn’t ideal.

“I think you take the science and the mandates, and you just do what’s right for the public health,” Baker said.

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