Face Covering Regulation

On October 13, 2020, Story County Board of Supervisors passed Resolution 21‐27 ‐ Resolution to Approve the Story County Board of Health Face Covering Regulation ‐ by affirmative vote. Regulation is effective upon publication. This regulation may be inspected in the office of Story County Environmental Health located in the Story County Administration Building, 900 6th Street, Nevada, IA, during business hours.

Click here to view regulation.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the county regulation go in to effect?
The regulation goes in to effect Thursday October 22, 2020.

When does the regulation end?
The face covering regulation will be terminated by the Story County Board of Supervisors by request of the Story County Board of Health when deemed applicable.

What is meant by a "public setting"?
Public setting is an area to which the public has access to, it would not include an area to which the public is excluded.  This means that any building or office space that the public is excluded from is exempt from the mask requirement.  Section 2.6 also specifically excludes any place used exclusively for a "private gathering" which further clarifies that an indoor area not accessible to the public is exempt for the mask requirement.

My 2-year-old, can they wear a mask?
Masks should not be put on children younger than the age of 2 years of age due to the risk of suffocation. Practicing social distancing and encouraging others to wear a mask are the best ways to protect children under 2.

Are masks safe?
Some people have suggested that carbon dioxide can get trapped under masks; this is not true.  A properly fitted and worn mask provides adequate airflow and makes the accumulation of carbon dioxide impossible. However, people with breathing problems, children under 2 years of age and those who cannot remove the mask without assistance should not wear one. 

Do masks REALLY work?
Yes, if worn properly. Masks work by reducing airborne droplets that can spread to others.

Which is more important, social distancing or face coverings in stopping the spread of COVID-19?
Social distancing should be practiced with other actions including: wearing face coverings, proper hand hygiene, staying home when ill and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.  

Ames's mask ordinance says children 3 or over should wear a mask, Story County says 2 years of age and over. Who do we follow?
CDC recommends face coverings for anyone over 2 years of age. However, people with breathing problems or ones who cannot remove the mask without assistance should not wear one.

Do I need to wear a face covering in my office?
If you are in an indoor area that the public has access to and you are not alone you must wear a face covering.

Who should I contact if I see people not wearing face coverings when they should be?
There are people who may not be able to wear a face covering and you might not be able to tell just by looking at them. Do not contact local or state officials, including law enforcement, but rather ask the individual to maintain social distance if possible. If you observe extensive, chronic issues with compliance (e.g., many individuals at a particular location repeatedly not wearing face coverings), please contact Story County Public Health (515-239-6730) as they may be able to provide targeted outreach and education.

Are face shields acceptable?
While individuals wearing face shields are not in violation of this regulation, we no longer advise face shields as a protective measure. This is based on the most recent guidance available from CDC, which does not recommend the use of gaiters or face shields. Recently updated guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health for quarantine follows CDC face covering recommendations. 

We are having a family gathering for the holidays; should we wear face coverings?
If a family gathering must take place, then the fewest people possible should be present.  Use of face coverings, frequent hand hygiene and social distancing should be encouraged as much as possible.  Buffet dining should be avoided.