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Iowa focuses on masks as coronavirus deaths rise

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds removes her face mask before signing an executive order granting...
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds removes her face mask before signing an executive order granting convicted felons the right to vote during a signing ceremony, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.(Charlie Neibergall | AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 9:52 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - More than 18 months after Iowa’s first coronavirus case, the state finds itself in a protracted argument over the value of wearing masks, especially in schools.

Even as the COVID-19 death toll in Iowa tops 6,400 people, discussions have shifted away from vaccination efforts and more toward masks following a federal judge’s ruling temporarily blocking a state law banning mask mandates in schools.

In the courts, the state has been seeking to have the mask mandate ban restored. In school districts, officials have been holding often-heated meetings about whether to require masks.

Efforts to question the value of masks in Iowa and elsewhere have left some health officials frustrated.

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