Waukee Issues New Mask Mandate

Starting November 9th, all businesses within the city limits of Waukee will be requiring masks due to a new proclamation by Waukee mayor Courtney Clark.

Photo by Waukee's Website

Starting November 9th, all businesses within the city limits of Waukee will be requiring masks due to a new proclamation by Waukee mayor Courtney Clark.

On November 5th, Waukee mayor Courtney Clark issued a mask mandate for Waukee after Iowa was labeled a “red zone” by the White House Coronavirus Task Force. The new mandate will require every person within the city limits of Waukee to wear a mask at almost all times or pay a fine. 

“For any violation, an initial civil penalty of fifteen dollars ($15.00) [will be given to any violator],” the proclamation by the mayor said. “If payment is not made within such thirty (30) calendar days, said civil penalty shall be twenty dollars ($20.00).”

As well as the fines, the patrolling and policing of social distancing and mask-wearing will be much more strict. The mayor’s proclamation also explicitly also spelled out where, and when, masks must be worn.

“All individuals within the City of Waukee shall wear face coverings while in an indoor business or public indoor space, to include, but not limited to, the following: Businesses… participants, staff, and spectators at gyms, fitness centers, yoga studios and climbing walls… entertainment venues… and while riding in public transportation or private car services (including taxis, rideshares and carpooling),” Waukee’s website says.

While wearing a mask is required to enter every business, there are certain circumstances when face coverings can be removed, such as movie theaters and within vehicles.

“When the user is seated and not within six feet of another person, they may remove the face covering, but must wear the face-covering when walking to or from their seat and while standing in or walking through public areas such as lobbies and restrooms,” The proclamation said. In vehicles, the mask mandate “does not apply in a private vehicle that is being used for private purposes.”

As well as spelling out the requirements for wearing masks inside, it also details when masks must be worn outside.

“Face coverings are also required in outdoor situations where six feet social distancing cannot be maintained and people are not actively eating or drinking to include outdoor social events open to the public,” said the website.

All businesses are required to display a “mask required” sign in plain sight and must require masks for people to enter.

“No business that is open to the public may provide services to a customer or allow a customer to enter its premises unless the customer is wearing a face covering,” the Waukee mandate states.

However, there are seventeen exemptions detailed within the proclamation, which are the following:

  1. If wearing a mask would be a violation of one’s religion or doctrine
  2. Any person who is alone or only with their family
  3. Medical facilities that already have mask requirements of their own
  4. When Federal or State laws prohibit wearing a mask
  5. Any person traveling in a car alone or only with family
  6. Children two and under
  7. People actively eating or drinking
  8. Temporarily removing the mask for identification
  9. Individuals unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition
  10. Individuals speaking to an audience (only if six feet distance can be obtained)
  11. Individuals communicating with someone with a disability or hardness of hearing (social distancing must still be obtained)
  12. A student participating in athletics with the Iowa High School Athletic Association
  13. Individuals alone in an office, room or cubicle, a vehicle, or in an enclosed work area
  14. Any public safety worker when wearing a mask would seriously interfere with their duties.
  15. Individuals receiving a service, such as dental, medical, or any other service that wearing a mask would prohibit said service
  16. When wearing a face mask would endanger others
  17. When child care does not allow parents and adults to enter the facility, the mandate does not apply.

When a person with an exemption wishes to enter a business, they must detail exactly what exception they are using. There is no burden of proof, meaning the person with said exemption does not have to prove anything. If no reason is given, the patron will be asked to leave the premises.

The mandate will go into effect Monday, November 9th at 5:00 pm. The mandate will expire on December 31, 2020, where it will either be lifted or renewed. For the first two weeks of the mandate, law enforcement will NOT focus on giving fines, but rather stress the importance of wearing a mask. 

“Initially, those who violate the mandate will be approached by the Waukee PD to be reminded of the risk they are placing on others and will be provided a free mask to make it easier to comply and protect those around them,” the proclamation said. “Beginning November 23, 2020, those who are not exempt and do not comply with wearing a face-covering in public settings could receive… an initial fine of $15.”

For more information, please visit https://www.waukee.org/1077/Face-Covering-Proclamation#:~:text=9%20at%205%20p.m.%2C%20requiring,they%20qualify%20for%20an%20exemption.