Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law Thursday morning preventing cities, counties and K-12 schools from mandating masks.
The legislation passed 53-35 in the House and 29-17 in the Senate before the session adjourned later that afternoon. The law goes into effect immediately. Almost a week prior, the Charles City School District had already changed their mask policy to make cloth face coverings optional on school grounds, in school buildings and at school events.
The change comes per guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health for schools and child care settings. The district’s statement says students and staff will only be quarantined if they are symptomatic or known to be positive for COVID-19. The state has adjusted its guidance to recommend schools and childcare settings approach COVID-19 like other childhood illnesses. Children exposed to COVID-19 will no longer be required to stay home, regardless of mask usage.