DES MOINES, Iowa – Des Moines City Manager Scott Sanders on Wednesday implemented a face-covering requirement in city buildings due to the increased community transmission of COVID-19 in Polk County.
“As the Administrator of public facilities, we’re requiring masks inside those facilities because the trends are disturbing and we need to keep our employees and residents healthy and safe inside our buildings,” Sanders said. “As in the past, we’ll base our decisions on CDC guidelines, and when the level of COVID-19 community transmission in Polk County remains high or substantial, the face covering mandate will remain in place.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week declared Polk County and 58 other Iowa counties as high transmission areas for COVID-19 and the Delta variant.
The masking requirement includes City Hall, Public Libraries, Argonne Armory, Municipal Service Center, Public Works buildings, the Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority (WRA), Des Moines Police and Fire Departments, and the office locations for the Municipal Housing Agency and the Civil & Human Rights Department at Polk County River Place and all other city buildings where employees work.
Sanders added that the face-covering requirement does not extend beyond city buildings and offices. A new state law prohibits schools and municipal governments from implementing mask mandates.
“In addition to our new mask requirement in City buildings, I want to strongly urge our employees, residents and Des Moines visitors to get their COVID vaccinations,” Sanders said. “Do it for yourself, your family, your friends and your coworkers.”
This mandate follows Polk County Board of Supervisors’ announcement on Monday that they were implementing a mask mandate for unvaccinated county employees.