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Iowa adds face mask mandate after originally calling it a ‘feel-good’ measure

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds added a new mask mandate after saying it was a ‘feel-good’ measure.

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Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds gives a primetime televised address announcing new efforts to combat COVID-19 in the state, on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, at Iowa PBS, in Johnston, Iowa.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds gives a primetime televised address announcing new efforts to combat COVID-19 in the state, on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, at Iowa PBS, in Johnston, Iowa.

Kelsey Kremer, The Des Moines Register via Associated Press

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced a new statewide mask mandate as a part of new coronavirus restrictions, which she once called “feel good measures.”

What’s going on?

Reynolds recently signed a proclamation that made it so people over 2 years old need to wear masks while indoors beginning Tuesday.

  • “No one wants to do this. I don’t want to do this,” she said Monday.
  • “If Iowans don’t buy into this, we’ll lose,” she said. “Businesses will close once again, more schools will be forced to go online, and our health care system will fail.”

The restrictions limit gatherings to no more than 15 people indoors and 30 people outdoors, including family events.

  • Bars and restaurants can now only operate between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

A look at the numbers

Iowa reported 3,300 new cases of COVID-19 with 34 new deaths. The state hit a new record last week with 5,500 confirmed cases in a single day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University

What she said before

Back in July, Reynolds criticized coronavirus restrictions, saying that she would not require her people to follow those restrictions, according to the QC Times.

  • “No, I’m not going to mandate masks. I trust Iowans. I believe in Iowans,” Reynolds said at the time. “There’s no way to enforce it. Most of the states or entities that have done that, they’ve actually gone as far as to say we’re not going to enforce it, so it’s just kind of a feel-good.”