Clay County Board of Health - Notice of Public Hearing

posted on Thursday, November 19, 2020 in Public Notices

The Clay County Board of Health will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 5:30 PM via WebEx to gather input and consider a face covering regulation. The proposed regulation would require appropriate face coverings to be worn by people within Clay County in public areas when a distance of six feet or greater between people cannot be maintained.

“The board of health is charged with creating and enforcing rules or regulations considered necessary for the protection and improvement of public health,” explained Dr. Janessa Mechler, Clay County Board of Health chair. “Our board members are concerned that COVID-19 poses a continued and increasing threat to the health and well-being of Clay County residents and visitors, and it’s our role to protect those who live and visit Clay County. We are dealing with unmitigated community spread. If case numbers continue to increase at the current rate, our local healthcare resources will quickly be pushed beyond capacity. We risk not being able to provide medical care and services to our community – this puts everyone’s health in even greater danger.”

On Tuesday, the board will open with a public comment portion. Once the public hearing portion of the meeting closes, the board of health will consider approval of face covering regulations. If approved, the recommendation regulations will be submitted to the Clay County Board of Supervisors for consideration as a countywide resolution.

Mechler added: “As stated in the proposed resolution, this regulation is not intended to be punitive or stigmatizing. Instead, the intent of the regulations are to be in the best interest of the health and safety of our residents and economic recovery.”

The proposed regulation is posted below.  To access the WebEx meeting online, log into and enter the meeting number – 1264674106 – and then meeting password – CCBOH (22264 from phones and video systems), or join by phone by calling in 1-408-418-9388.


Section 1. Authority and Applicability

  • Iowa Code 137.104 provides that, "a local board of health shall... make and enforce such reasonable rules and regulations not inconsistent with law and the rules of the state board as may be necessary for the protection and improvement of the public health."
  • The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, also referred to as COVID-19, is a virus that primarily spreads from person to person and can result in serious illness, long-term negative health impacts or death.
  • The Clay County Board of Health finds that COVID-19 poses a continuing and immediate threat to the public health of Clay County, Iowa residents and visitors.
  • The Clay County Board of Health further finds that the current rise in numbers of infections within Clay County are not sustain-able given the resources currently available to combat this threat and that further measures are at this time necessary.

Section 2. Definitions

  • "ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY" means the local board of health as authorized by Iowa Code Chapter 137, or its appointed representative.
  • "THE BOARD" means the Clay County Board of Health.
  • "THE COUNTY" means Clay County, Iowa.
  • "FACE COVERING" means a particulate mask or double-layered cloth covering that securely covers a person's nose and mouth and is secured to the face with ties, loops, or elastic, and does not include masks or coverings with openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material, exhalation valves or vents.
  • "HOUSEHOLD MEMBER" means a person who lives a majority of time with the person in their apartment, house, mobile home, or other structure intended for residential occupancy.
  • "PUBLIC SETTING" means an indoor or outdoor area, whether privately or publicly owned, to which the public have access by right or by invitation, expressed or implied, whether by payment of money or not, but not a place when used exclusively by one or more individuals for a private gathering or other personal purpose.

Section 3. General Regulations

Therefore, pursuant to Iowa Code 137.104, be it hereby ordered and enforced by the Board as the Administrative Authority, as follows:

Every person in Clay County shall wear a face covering when:

  • In public as opposed to being in one's place of residence, when one cannot stay six (6)  feet away from others.
  • Inside of any indoor public settings, for example, but not limited to:
  • Grocery stores.
  • Pharmacies.
  • Hardware stores.
  • Retail stores.
  • Schools.
  • Other public settings that are not one's place of residence and when you are with persons who do not live in the household.
  • Outside, if keeping six (6) feet away from others is not possible.
  • Using public transportation or private car service (including taxis, ride share or carpooling.
  • Exemptions. Places and times where persons are exempt from wearing a face covering:
  • While traveling in a personal vehicle alone or with household members.
  • While a person is alone or is in the presence of only household members.
  • While exercising at moderate or high intensity e.g. jogging or biking.
  • While seated at a bar or food establishment in the process of eating or drinking.
  • While obtaining a service that would re-quire temporary removal of the persons face covering.
  • When federal or state law prohibits wearing a face covering or requires the removal of the face covering.
  • Exemptions. Persons who are exempt from wearing a face covering:
  • Persons younger than two (2) years old due to the risk of suffocation.
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing due to a medical condition, on oxygen therapy or ventilator.
  • Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
  • Anyone who has been told by a medical, legal or behavioral health professional not to wear face coverings.
  • Appropriate Use. If a cloth face covering is chosen, appropriate use of a cloth face covering includes:
  • A snug fi t, but comfortable against the side of the face.
  • Completely covers the nose and mouth.
  • Secured with ties or ear loops.
  • Double-layered and without a vent.

Section 4.  Enforcement, Penalties and Implementation

  • This regulation is not intended to be punitive or stigmatizing and is in the best interest of health, safety, and economic recovery.
  • There shall be no penalty for a violation of the Regulation.
  • This Regulation shall become effective upon approval of the Board of Supervisors and publication in the local paper of record as described in Iowa Code Section137.104(1)(b)(2).
  • The requirements of this Regulation shall be lifted when the level of positivity in Clay County has fallen under five percent (5%) over a 14-day average for two consecutive Sundays as indicated on Coronavirus.iowa. gov., demonstrating that control of the virus in Clay County is adequate to protect our citizens.
  • The requirements of this Regulation shall be reinstated when the level of positivity in Clay County has risen over ten percent (10%) over a 14-day average for two consec-utive Sundays as indicated on Coronavirus., demonstrating that control of the virus in Clay County is not safe to protect our citizens.
  • This Regulation shall be reviewed at least annual to determine if it is still necessary.

Clay County Board of Health invites you to join this Webex meeting.

Meeting number (access code):

126 467 4106

Meeting password:

CCBOH (22264 from phones and video systems)

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

5:30 pm  |  (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada) 

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