Reynolds removes mask mandate

Jon Quinn (TheLorian)

Iowa governor Kim Reynolds issued a new emergency proclamation late of Feb. 5, that will lift the state’s mask requirement along with social distancing and masking limitations she had in place for businesses and social gatherings. This proclamation became effective this past weekend on Feb. 7. The city of Dubuque will continue to enforce mask mandates and social distancing.

This announcement comes just a week after a more contagious strain of COVID-19 was detected in the state of Iowa. The B.1.1.7 variant, also known as the U.K. strand, is believed to be more easily spread than the original strain according to epidemiologic and modeling data.

In the same press release, there was information and tips for hosting a virtual Super Bowl watch party like decorating your home, making snacks for your household, and starting a group chat with your friends. Otherwise, it was suggested to attend an outdoor viewing party where viewers can sit six feet apart.

In a statement from the President of Loras College, Jim Collins, Reynolds lift will not change the college’s guidelines, rules, or restrictions in any way. Loras College strongly encourages its students to continue to wear a mask and socially distance. The campus is in good shape with controlling the spread of the disease. In an email last Friday from Molly Burrows-Schumacher, the campus will continue to operate in an alert green status. This means normal status in regards to accessible resources and services on campus.

In the past three days, Dubuque County has seen about 50 new cases. There are about 800 active cases in Dubuque and single-digit deaths are being reported each day. In the past week, the average percent of positive cases are below five percent. Only one long-term care facility has an outbreak in Dubuque. Stonehill Care Center holds about 70 current positive cases, six of those have been detected in the past two weeks.

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Jon is currently a junior who is double-majoring in Media Studies and Public Relations. He is heavily involved at Loras as a campus photographer, residential adviser, and a sports editor for the school newspaper, The Lorian.

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