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Federal judge puts temporary hold on Iowa’s mask mandate ban

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 4:29 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal judge has ordered the state of Iowa to immediately halt enforcement of a law passed in May that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Judge Robert Pratt’s order signed Monday grants the plaintiff’s motion for a temporary restraining order on the lawsuit filed earlier this month by the ACLU of Iowa.

Citing an increase in COVID-19 cases and the spread of the delta variant, Pratt said in the order that the law substantially increases the risk of several children with health conditions of contracting COVID-19. Pratt says he has looked at data on the effectiveness of masks to reduce spread of the virus and agrees with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics on mask-wearing in schools.

ACLU of Iowa issued a statement on the judge’s order, expressing gratitude and relief.

Several parents with children that have various medical conditions sued the state. Last month, a Council Bluffs mom filed a lawsuit fighting the state’s ban on mask mandates. The suit filed in Polk County district court named Gov. Kim Reynolds, Director of Education Ann Lebo, and Iowa Department of Public Health Director Kelly Garcia.

Reynolds said the state will appeal the ruling.

Read the judge’s order

6 News contributed to this story.

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