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More about masks: Decorah City Council meets, County Board of Health will discuss next Wednesday; County Board has no plans to discuss

Posted: Tue, Jul 28, 2020 9:02 AM

Decorah City Council members say it would be a good idea if city residents wore masks in public, but they admit they can only make a recommendation and not require such a move.

At a work session Monday evening, Decorah Mayor Lorraine Borowski said, "We don't have the power to make a mandate."  The Decorah City Council last week approved a resolution calling on the public to wear masks.

Winneshiek County's Board of Health will meet next Wednesday, August 5th, to also discuss ways to get more of the public to wear masks.  It will discuss the Decorah City Council's resolution as part of a wider discussion of the COVID-19 epidemic.  While the Board of Health may pass a resolution similar to the one passed by the Decorah City Council, it would be advisory in nature and would not need to be discussed by the Winneshiek County Board of Supervisors.

In addition to that, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has repeatedly said she alone has the ability to pass a resolution requiring the use of face masks in public in Iowa.  Reynolds has urged the public to wear masks, but has said it's a matter of personal choice.

Decorah City Council member Johanna Bergan Monday night suggested city council members should work with county officials in lobbying the governor to change her position on masks and approve a measure to require masks in public.  City council member Emily Neal told Monday evening's meeting, "The more people wearing masks, the more it works."