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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Iowans react to Gov. Reynolds' limited mask mandate

Dr. Austin Baeth, an internal medicine physician, says he appreciates the steps Reynolds is taking.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Monday, Governor Reynolds made a rare primetime address to Iowans, outlining her latest proclamation to take effect Tuesday at 12:01 a.m.

In the proclamation, Reynolds details a statewide mask requirement with several caveats.

Iowans age two or older are required to wear masks indoors, but only if they're around non-family members for more than 15 minutes. It also doesn't apply to classroom instruction.

Des Moines internal medicine physician Dr. Austin Baeth said he believes healthcare workers across Iowa "let out a collective sigh of relief" after Governor Reynolds' address.

"This is badly needed," said Dr. Baeth. "We know that universal mask use saves lives, and we need her leadership and messaging on this, and she came through."

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley applauded Gov. Reynolds for her actions.

However, others, like Twitter user "ICHawkeye" think Reynolds' actions are too little, too late.

The Iowa State Education Association also weighed in on the Governor's proclamation. 

President Mike Beranek issued the following statement:

We are disappointed in Governor Reynolds’ attempt to fight COVID-19 with half measures and more requests for personal responsibility.

Today, more than one-third of Iowa’s school districts still do not require students and school employees to wear masks even though almost every single county in Iowa has surpassed 15 percent positivity.

We need a clear and simple mask mandate for our schools. We are in a crisis and we need a leader.

WATCH: Gov. Kim Reynolds' full Nov. 16, 2020 address