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Waterloo mask mandate extended indefinitely, Mayor Hart given authority to end mandate

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WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) - Waterloo City Council passed a mask mandate to be extended indefinitely. Mayor Hart is given the authority to end the mandate by his role as mayor.

The initial proposal was to extend the mandate by 12 weeks from Councilman Johnathan Grieder.

"It's very important that we continue this action of masking up and helping keep everyone in this community as healthy as we can," Grieder said.

Councilman Dave Boesen agreed with Grieder, but proposed an amendment to the extension. Boesen proposed leaving the end date open and giving authority to end the mask mandate to Mayor Hart.

"I truly believe that we should just leave the date open, make it indefinite and leave it up to Mayor Hart and the health department. It would be up to them on when they feel when it's appropriate to remove this mandate," Boesen said.

Mayor Hart continued the conversation by saying if any choice would be made regarding the mandate, the council would be involved. Also, Mayor Hart spoke on involving the city's COVID-19 response team, and county health department.

"I would have a conversation with the city council and just say "hey this is what we're looking at," Mayor Hart said. "We have all of our health care providers vaccinated, and our numbers are down."

The council passed the mandate unanimously. March of last year, the city council updated an ordinance to give the mayor "broader powers during a civil emergency."

Councilman Jerome Amos says the decision on giving these powers to Mayor Hart falls in line with the March 2020 ordinance.

Councilman Pat Morrissey questioned the mask mandate amendment at first, asking to create a new language for a resolution altogether, but Morrissey did end up voting in favor of continuing the mandate indefinitely.

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Vinny Lowerre

Producer & Multimedia Journalist

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