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Supervisors consider mask mandate
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Supervisors consider mask mandate

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HJ - Standard Page County Courthouse

The continued rise of COVID-19 cases in Page County have the Board of Supervisors concerned and ready to take action.

Following the Nov. 10 Page County Board of Supervisors meeting, an 8:30 a.m. special meeting on Thursday was approved for the Board of Supervisors to discuss a mask mandate for the county.

Supervisor Chair Chuck Morris voiced his concern over the county’s positivity rate of 33% which does not include all of the positive cases at the Clarinda Correction Facility. He further noted that other counties in Iowa issuing mask mandates had positivity rates less than half of Page County.

“At some point, more efforts are going to need to take place to get this curve under control,” said Morris.

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Supervisor Alan Armstrong said he was all for issuing a mask mandate but realizes it cannot be enforced legally and anticipates a lack of respect from individuals refusing to wear a mask.

“It’s not just something you can take lightly because it is affecting people rather severely,” said Armstrong.

Morris conceded with Armstrong that local governmental entities did not have the authority to issue enforceable mandates. However, he said the Iowa Public Board of Health Code does have a subsection allowing counties to issue mask mandates without enforcement, stating the purpose would be to accentuate the importance of public safety.

Upon meeting Thursday morning, Morris said he called the meeting prematurely. With Nov. 11 being a holiday, the county’s legal staff could not verify and compile needed information on how the county could go about issuing a mask mandate.

Page County Board of Health met Nov. 16 to discuss a potential mask mandate. However, no action was taken at this time since Governor Kim Reynolds issued mask requirements the same night.

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