Face Covering Mandate

Update 2/28/22: In accordance with CDC guidance, face coverings are not required in City of Des Moines buildings unless the COVID-19 Community Level increases to High. Learn More

Update 7/27/21: The mask mandate for Des Moines expired on May 14, 2021.

If you are at high risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions in public.

CDC Mask illustration

On Aug. 26, 2020, Mayor Frank Cownie signed an emergency proclamation making face coverings mandatory in public places whenever proper social distance cannot be maintained. The mask mandate took effect as the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) surpassed 58,000 positive cases statewide with nearly 12,000 in Polk County.

That mandate expired on Friday, May 14, 2021, however, it is strongly encouraged that you continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As of May 2021, Iowa cities and counties are no longer able to enact their own policies that require property owners to enforce face covering mandates.

When does the face covering mandate start and end?

The mandate went into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. The emergency proclamation allowed the Mayor to end the face covering mandate at his discretion as circumstances warranted. Following the updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in May 2021, Mayor Cownie ended the mandate on Friday, May 14, 2021.

On February 25, 2022, the CDC provided updated guidance that relaxes recommendations regarding face coverings as vaccination rates continue to increase. As of May 2021, Iowa cities and counties are unable to enact their own policies that require property owners to require face coverings.

Who has to wear a face covering?

No one is required to wear a face covering, but we strongly encourage you to follow CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine, including getting tested if you are exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19.

If you are immunocompromised or at a high risk for severe disease, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions in public.