Cedar Falls renews mask mandate through mid-May; Nook supports extension


The City of Cedar Falls has renewed its mandate requiring face coverings in public places through at least May 19.

At a meeting of the Cedar Falls City Council on April 5, council members decided in a 4-3 vote to maintain the mandate.

During the meeting, UNI President Mark Nook spoke (via Zoom) in support of extending the mandate, which he said “has helped protect our citizens a great deal within the Cedar Valley and particularly in Cedar Falls” since it was enacted in September.

He cited a recent increase in COVID-19 cases at the state, county and campus level as evidence that even as vaccinations role out, the virus is still prevalent.

“This uptick means that we haven’t completely controlled this disease yet. Mass vaccinations really haven’t hit a majority of our eligible population yet,” he said. “It’s important that we continue to maintain the safety measures both on campus and off campus not only while the vaccine is being delivered, but on afterward until we reach… herd immunity.”

He also encouraged the council to considering extending the mandate through June for the sake of the K-12 schools which will be in session through that time.

“This isn’t the right time to pull back, to take a step back and allow the virus to get out of hand,” he said.

For now, the mandate is in place through May 19, and will be automatically up for consideration again on May 17. Meanwhile, Waterloo’s mask mandate continues to remain in place indefinitely, and face coverings are still required in all public areas on the UNI campus.