In early February, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds removed restrictions requiring people to wear masks in public and to social distance. Despite this, policies at Kirkwood Community College will not change.
According to some Democratic lawmakers such as Lindsay Jones and Claire Celsi, Reynolds didn’t receive approval by public health officials before putting this lift into action. The spokesperson for the Governor’s office, Pat Garret, defended Reynold’s decision.
“The governor has been consistent since the beginning of the pandemic and is following through with her commitment to dial back restrictions based on a significant decrease in COVID hospitalizations,” said Garret.
Students at Kirkwood shared their thoughts on Reynolds’ mask requirement lift.
“In my point of view, I think it wasn’t appropriate that she lifted the wearing of the masks,” said Hamdiatu Yekubu, a Journalism major. “In my opinion, it was a rash decision. She maybe should’ve sought out more medical consulting. I saw on the news that the medical consultants said that it wasn’t a good decision to lift it.”
Cheyenne Houston, a Dental Hygiene major, voiced her thoughts on this as well. “I think the mask mandate being lifted was really shocking just because comparing Iowa to Illinois, Illinois has five times as many cases as Iowa. I think it’s good that our school is keeping masks mandatory but state-wise, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.”
Despite varying viewpoints on lifting the mask mandate in Iowa, masks will still be required on campus. According to Kirkwood’s website, “Kirkwood’s virus protocols will remain unchanged following Governor Reynolds’ recent easing of some COVID-19 restrictions. Masks are still required on all Kirkwood campuses and social distancing guidelines will continue to be in place.”