Marion issues mask requirement for city buildings; all 99 counties reach high rate of COVID-19 spread, says CDC

Marion City Park, April 15, 2021. — Emma McClatchey/Little Village

The City of Marion announced on Wednesday it is reintroducing COVID-19 mitigation measures lifted earlier this year, in response to increased spread of the Delta variant in Iowa and Linn County.

“City employees and members of the public visiting City facilities are now required to wear face coverings,” the city’s statement said. “In addition, all meetings of the Marion City Council and City boards and commissions will occur virtually through the month of September. Agendas will be published with instructions for accessing all public meetings.”

Marion joins Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty, as well as Linn County and Johnson County in requiring face masks be worn in municipal buildings.

CDC COVID-19 tracking map, Sept. 9, 2021.

“Current CDC guidance indicates that even those who are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, should wear a mask indoors in public if in an area of substantial or high transmission,” the city explained. “Linn County is an area of high transmission.”

Linn County isn’t alone in that category. According to the latest data from the CDC’s COVID-19 tracker, all 99 counties in Iowa have a high rate of spread.

The Linn County Public Health Department’s COVID-19 information site breaks down county data by zip code. The area containing Marion — 52302 — has a seven-day average of 12.57 newly reported cases of the virus a day, the third highest of the county’s 18 zip code areas.

Linn County Public Health COVID-19 map, Sept. 9, 2021.

Overall, Linn County has 2,538 active cases of COVID-19, according to LDPH. Fifty county residents with the virus are currently hospitalized.

In its statement on Wednesday, Marion said its reinstated COVID-19 precautions will be reviewed at the end of the month.

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