Linn County residents, businesses, and visitors are reminded that the mask mandates previously put in place by the Linn County Board of Health, and the Linn County Board of Supervisors are still in effect in Linn County. The regulations make face masks mandatory in public places throughout Linn County, whenever six (6) feet of physical distance cannot be maintained. Linn County’s mask mandate applies to unincorporated areas and areas where municipalities have not taken action.
Local health experts from Mercy Medical Center and UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids, in consultation with Linn County Public Health, recommend keeping the face mask mandates in place. This action aligns with the recommendations of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control on the use of face coverings in public to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Scientific studies have shown that face coverings over the mouth and nose significantly reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
On Feb. 1, 2021, IDPH confirmed the first three cases of the COVID-19 variant, SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7. in Iowa (two cases in Johnson County and one in Bremer County). The virus variant is often referred to as the U.K. variant because it was first detected in the United Kingdom. Based on epidemiologic and modeling data, researchers believe that the B.1.1.7 strain can be spread more easily than the original strain of the virus.
In its announcement last week of this new strain confirmed in Iowa, IDPH stated “The emergence of new variants underscores that it remains critical for Iowans to continue the mitigation efforts that we know work to slow the spread of COVID-19:
- Wear a mask or face covering
- Practice social distancing with those outside your household
- Clean your hands frequently with soap and water
- Stay home if you feel sick
- Get tested if you are exposed to, or have symptoms of COVID-19
- Consider getting a COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available to you.”
For information on how to select, wear, and clean a face mask, visit the CDC website.
For more information about COVID-19, visit LinnCounty.org/COVID-19.