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Iowa Mask Mandate Debates Continue

Polls show most Americans, regardless of party affiliation, support face covering mandates.

Here in Iowa, we've had more than 40,000 cases of COVID-19 and at least 820 deaths.

Over the past week, there have been an average of 483 cases per day in Iowa, an increase of 11 percent from the average two weeks earlier, according to the latest numbers from the New York Times database. So while other states are in worse shape, we have seen cases increasing here in Iowa.

Statewide mask mandates, orders that would fine or jail individuals if they fail to wear a mask in public, are in effect in more than half of U.S. states, but not here in Iowa.

This week's "Newsbuzz" starts with a conversation between host Ben Kieffer and IPR's eastern Iowa reporter Kate Payne about mask mandates in Iowa City and Johnson County and what they could mean for the rest of the state.


  • Kate Payne, IPR eastern Iowa reporter
  • Ryan Foley, news correspondent, Associated Press
  • Dan Gutmann, special education teacher at Jackson Elementary and founder of Drive For Lives Iowa
  • Tosha Rhoades, resident, Mount Pleasant
  • Leo Landis, state curator, State Historical Society of Iowa
  • Tony Dehner, IPR Studio One host
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River