MASON CITY, Iowa - It's a controversial topic right now: should Governor Reynolds follow the lead of other states by mandating masks to be worn in public spaces?
A group of Iowa religious leaders, known as the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, gathered in front of the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines asking for just that, and delivered a petition containing more than 800 signatures to the Governor's office. They say that their faiths call on them to help protect others.
Scott Davis is the senior teaching pastor at Grace Church in Mason City. Since reopening, his church has a dedicated service for those who prefer to wear masks, and seats have been spaced out to meet distancing, as well as being sanitized in between services. While he sees what the Alliance is doing, he is not encouraging a state-wide mandate to be enacted. However, he says it's up to everyone to responsibly take care of each other.
"We encourage people to do whatever is beneficial to other people, if we don't tell people what they have to do, because we don't have that kind of authority. But we encourage people to be wise and generous towards others, make sure that you're not reaching out to shake hands, ask first, those kinds of things. We're trying to be courteous and gracious towards others, without mandating this kind of thing."
If a mandate is implemented, Davis says they will follow it.
"We're still working on still somewhat limited information, so everybody's trying be stay safe and healthy. If that ended up becoming something that's issued, we would follow it. Itt's just not something that we encourage at the moment."
Iowa is one of 16 states that does not currently have a mask mandate in place.