Cedar Rapids Schools Will Require Students, Staff Wear Masks

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Masks will be required for all students, staff and visitors in Cedar Rapids schools, the district's superintendent said Tuesday.

Superintendent Noreen Bush announced the requirement beginning Wednesday in an email to families, a day after a federal judge ordered the state of Iowa to immediately halt enforcement of a law the prevents school board from ordering mask mandates. More than 90 students in the district are now positive for the coronavirus, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported.

Cedar Rapids is the state's second-largest school district after Des Moines schools, which within hours of the court ruling reinstated its mask mandate, also beginning Wednesday.

Bush said at a school board meeting that the vulnerability of children under age 12 who can't get vaccinated is of special concern.

Judge Robert Pratt issued the temporary order blocking the state law, saying it substantially increases the risk of contracting the virus.

Gov. Kim Reynolds promised an appeal, saying the judge's ruling “took away parents’ ability to decide what’s best for their child.”