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Mayor waiting to make decision on mandate

contributed photo Marshalltown Mayor Joel Greer has been in discussion with city officials about what should be done about the mask mandate.

TIMES-REPUBLICAN

Time and information will tell what happens with the Marshalltown mask mandate.

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control eased COVID-19 guidelines, stating vaccinated people should feel free to go maskless indoors two weeks after receiving their shots.

On Friday, after Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie lifted the mask mandate for his town, Marshalltown Mayor Joel Greer began talking to City Administrator Jessica Kinser via text about what the city should do.

One thing Greer knows he does want to do is gather information. What sort of effects will lifting the mandate have?

He will contact various entities in town — the Marshalltown Community School District, UnityPoint, the Iowa Valley Community College, the YMCA, McFarland and the Iowa Veterans Home — “take their temperature, tell them what I am thinking and find out how they feel about lifting. I want to check my sources before I make a decision.”

Greer said he does not know if he wants to lift it or make it simpler. The mandate requires every person in Marshalltown to wear a mask covering their mouth and nose when in public indoor settings, using public transportation and outdoors if social distancing is not possible. He is thinking about the proper time to lift or ease and wonders if the mandate, which he issued in November, should stay in place through June.

“The kids need to get vaccinated, yet,” Greer said. “I would feel bad about putting the school district in that situation.”

Some more people Greer wants to talk to is Cedar Falls Mayor Rob Green and Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague. He has already spoken to Ames Mayor John Haila.

“I really like and trust them,” Greer said.

No matter what is decided, it can be certain the Marshalltown mayor will weigh the options beforehand.

“This is an interesting issue,” he said. “People can expect an announcement shortly — next week. I hoped to wait until June, but when the CDC has a new guidepost that says no mask is necessary two weeks after a vaccination, who am I to counter that?”

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Contact Lana Bradstream at 641-753-6611 or lbradstream@timesrepublican.com.

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