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NO MASK MANDATE: Iowans discuss COVID-19 safety in the Hawkeye State

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CERRO GORDO COUNTY, Iowa (KTTC) - Iowa. Fields of Opportunities. And going into August with no mask mandate in place.

"Some people wear them. Some people don't," said Karla Gordon, owner of GG's Place in Nora Springs. "Coming into the restaurant, I make sure all of my employees wear masks and take extra precautions because it is an older community."

GG's is more diligent about sanitizing surfaces as well but the owner says she does not believe the state needs a mask mandate.

"I think it's everyone's choice if they want to follow the guidelines," Gordon said. "I hope that people follow it."

In a town of less than 1,500, getting everyone to be safe does not seem to be an issue in Floyd County.

"We have a great community and everyone respects everyone's distance," she said. "I think they're doing an awesome job."

Over in Mason City, some residents say they are concerned that not everyone is wearing a mask indoors. They believe a mandate could increase compliance.

"In Des Moines, I'd say 75 percent or more. Here, 50 percent or less," said Sue Triplett, a visitor to Mason City.

However, she does not believe people should be forced to comply.

"I would not be in favor of a mandate but I think that with the strong recommendations that we're getting from the medical community and government, we should all be paying attention," Triplett said.

Her husband agrees.

"I think if everyone would wear masks, it would improve everyone's lives," Dick Triplett said. "See if we can get to the bottom of this and find a cure for this virus."

Despite a few people who say they think the Hawkeye State needs a mandate, most Iowans agree that it is a personal choice. Even if they plan to wear a mask anyways.

Mason City's Cerro Gordo County has 578 total COVID cases and 17 deaths.

The smaller Floyd County and home of Nora Springs has seen fewer, 116 cases and 2 deaths.

Many chain stores in Mason City and the Dollar General in Nora Springs have masking policies.

Alex Tejada

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