Mask Up: North Liberty Adopts Face Covering Initiative to Combat COVID-19
North Liberty’s city council has unanimously adopted a public health initiative advising those in North Liberty to keep social distance, to wear face shields or cloth masks in public settings and businesses to adopt must-wear policies.
Reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is critical to our schools’ reopenings, our businesses’ recoveries and our community’s health. Face coverings keep transmission low, prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed and protect our community members who are vulnerable.
The guidelines for when the public should wear face coverings were provided by Johnson County Public Health, who urged the adoption of mandates throughout Iowa, and mirror the those included in other local measures.
The initiative begins immediately, and says a cloth mask or face shield should be worn when whenever a person is in any indoor public settings, in public or outside and keeping six feet from others is not possible, or when using public or shared transportation. Reusable, washable masks are available through the North Liberty Library during its business hours by emailing [email protected] or by calling (319) 626-5701.
Resolution also says North Liberty businesses should adopt “must-wear” policies to protect their patrons and staff. The Better Together Project, a collaboration of the Iowa City Area Business Partnership, Iowa City Area Development Group, Iowa City Downtown District and Think Iowa City, has developed easy-to-print signs and other resources which can be downloaded at icareatogether.com/business-resources.
The complete resolution is included below.
A RESOLUTION ADOPTING A FACE COVERING PUBLIC HEALTH INITIATIVE TO HELP COMBAT COVID-19
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NORTH LIBERTY, IOWA:
WHEREAS, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has infected millions of Americans, including nearly 40,000 Iowans; and
WHEREAS, Johnson County has over 1,650 cases and 10 deaths; and
WHEREAS, the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rapidly increase in our nation, state and county, placing our residents at risk of serious illness or death; and
WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has determined that wearing face shields or cloth face masks has proven to be one of the most effective means to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus among persons in public settings; and
WHEREAS, it is critically important to protect the residents, visitors, students and employees in the City of North Liberty from the spread of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, the City of North Liberty desires that individuals and businesses in the City comply with recommended practices to reduce the spread of the virus, including social distancing and the use of face shields or cloth face masks.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the North Liberty Face Covering Public Health Initiative is hereby adopted to combat the spread of COVID-19. To wit:
All persons within the corporate limits of the City of North Liberty are advised to keep social distance, and to wear face shields or cloth masks as described hereafter.
Persons should wear a cloth mask or face shield whenever they are:
- In public, as opposed to being in one’s place of residence, when one cannot stay six (6) feet away from others
- Inside of any indoor public settings, for example, but not limited to:
- Grocery stores
- Hardware stores
- Retail stores
- Other public settings that are not one’s place of residence and when with persons who do not live in the household
- Outside, if keeping six (6) feet away from others is not possible
- Using public transportation or private car service (including taxis, ride share, or carpooling)
Notwithstanding the above, the following persons should not wear a face covering:
- Persons younger than 2 years old due to the risk of suffocation
- Anyone who has trouble breathing, is on oxygen therapy or a ventilator
- Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance
- Anyone who has been told by a medical, legal, or behavioral health professional not to wear face coverings
Furthermore, it is not necessary to wear a face covering:
- While traveling in a personal vehicle alone or with household members
- While a person is alone or in is in the presence of only household members
- While exercising at moderate or high intensity e.g. jogging or biking
- While seated at a food establishment in the process of eating or drinking
- While obtaining a service that would require temporary removal of the persons face covering
- When federal or state law prohibits wearing a face covering or requires the removal of the face covering
Appropriate use of a cloth face covering includes:
- A snug fit, but comfortable against the side of the face
- Completely covers the nose and mouth
- Is secured with ties or ear loops
- Includes multiple layers of fabric
- Allows for breathing without restriction
- Can be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
Businesses operating within the corporate limits of North Liberty should adopt must-wear policies which comport with this initiative to provide reasonable protection for their patrons and staff.
These practices should continue indefinitely until substantial progress in curbing the spread of the COVID-19 virus has been declared by public health officials.