MASON CITY — Mason City Mayor Bill Schickel says his emergency proclamation he put in place on March 17th banning gatherings of more than 10 people in public places due to the COVID-19 pandemic will end on June 1st.
He says, “I’m doing this in order to better accommodate open-air dining and restricted summer sports here in Mason City and north Iowa.”
Schickel says requirements from state and local health officials for sports and dining activities are equivalent to the proclamation and offer more detailed directions and rules that people can follow. “These rules include tables of 10 or less with observation of six foot of social distancing for outdoor dining which were encouraging. The Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa High School Athletic Association guidelines for restricted summer sports that will happen this summer.”
Schickel says even though his proclamation will end next week, he’s encouraging people to continue to follow some of the same recommendations when it comes to interacting with people in public places. “I strongly encourage residents to continue wearing masks and face coverings, and follow all social distancing mandates and guidelines, and really to not let down our guard.”
Governor Reynolds’ new proclamation issued Tuesday allows cities to open back up outdoor public playgrounds on June 1st, but Schickel says for now they will remain closed until the city’s Park Board gives its approval. “The parks in Mason City are open, they have remained open. The Park Board will be making a decision soon on the playgrounds themselves. At this particular time they remain closed.”
The Park Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting would be June 9th, but it is possible a special session could be scheduled in the near future.