UPDATE: A mask mandate just may come to fruition in the city of Cedar Falls, but is waiting a whole week longer soon enough?

As positive COVID-19 cases continue to rapidly increase across the state, on Monday night, Cedar Falls city council members once again debated the merits of instituting an official mask mandate. As reported in the WCF Courier, "Cedar Falls' Mayor Rob Green directed staff to draft a mandate, using language similar to that of cities like Waterloo and Des Moines, and bring it before the next council meeting Tuesday, Sept. 8th". During the zoom meeting, the majority of members said that they support an official mandate that requires cloth face coverings in public places.

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(Originally published Aug. 20, 2020)
Earlier this week, the Waterloo City Council adopted a mask mandate on a 6-1 vote. In a special meeting on Wednesday night, the Cedar Falls City council voted the exact opposite, 6-1 to indefinitely postpone the resolution.

While at least one Waterloo business (scroll down to the Facebook post) takes Waterloo's mask mandate seriously, the major takeaway from watching the Cedar Falls virtual meeting was how a mask mandate would impact businesses and how to enforce the resolution. Council member Simon Harding stated in the video, that he "definitely wants people to wear masks, I wear my mask". "But the issue I really have is unenforceable mandates".

There seemed to be some traction among council members about putting the focus on educating the public and possibly changing the language of the resolution to a "recommendation". An amendment was put forward and seconded. However, Black Hawk County’s Public Health Department director Nafissa Cisse-Egbuony addressed the council over concerns of the semantics of issuing a mandate versus a recommendation. "In regards to "recommendation", people are not going to know what that really means". She also mentioned that the county is "looking into a face mask ordinance".

Councilman Mark Miller, expressed concerned to leave the option open to "make it easier to respond if something catastrophic would happen" (like the number of cases going up significantly).
After much discussion by council members on how to move forward to revisit a possible mandate in the future, the council voted to "indefinitely postpone the resolution".

Watch the entire Cedar Falls City Council August 19 special meeting here: