GARNER, Iowa - It's no big revelation that states are handling this pandemic differently, with some having more restrictions than others.
Last month, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced that she would lift mask requirements, gathering limits and restrictions on businesses. In Minnesota, a mask mandate and business restrictions are still in effect. Now, a new WalletHub study is revealing how states stack up against each other in terms of COVID rules.
The study from the personal finance website lists all states with the fewest COVID-19 restrictions, with Iowa ranking 1st on that list, while Minnesota ranked 34th. The study looked at key metrics like requirements to wear a face mask in public, workplace temperature screenings, travel restrictions, large gatherings restrictions, reopening of restaurants and bars, and others.
Throughout the last year, Garner Mayor Ken Mick says that his community reflected the Governor's orders, as well as public health guidelines.
"In the rec center, we had a number of things - we restricted the number of people and how close. It limited our operation there substantially, but as time as has gone on, we broadened that, as has the Governor."
On the local level, the City didn't implement stricter measures for businesses on top of what the state already issued.
"We allowed them to operate with the same safety protections and requirements and suggestions that came from the state level."
Now that the state government has lifted restrictions, he trusts businesses and the public to do the right thing, and follow guidelines when possible.
"I think that we have to accept some responsibility for ourselves...I think our businesses have worked at trying to do the guidelines that are out there. I felt that the public has to make some decisions on what they're comfortable with and not comfortable with."