(Clarinda) — Page County officials are changing the language on COVID-19-related signs in the courthouse and other county-owned buildings.
Meeting in regular session Tuesday morning, the supervisors approved a motion to place new mask recommendations on bulletin boards in the courthouse. Currently, the doors to the courthouse have signs that state masks are recommended when entering the building. The new signs conform to current CDC guidance and will recommend masks for unvaccinated individuals, while fully vaccinated people are not asked to wear a mask. County Public Health Administrator Jessica Erdman says her office at the county’s annex building has CDC signage.
“On our door, it says ‘Attention, fully vaccinated individuals — per CDC guidelines — are not required to wear a mask indoors or outdoors and for unvaccinated individuals — per CDC guidelines — it is recommended that unvaccinated individuals wear a mask indoors at all times and outdoors when they cannot be socially distant,” said Erdman.
Supervisor Jacob Holmes cast the lone dissenting vote to the proposal. Holmes says he does not favor any language with different standards for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
“I don’t like anything to do with the different standards for people who are vaccinated and not vaccinated, at all,” said said Holmes. “I understand that’s the CDC’s recommendation, but I think you’re creating two classes of people. That’s nothing I want to be a part of.”
Prior to the vote, Holmes made a motion to eliminate all COVID-19 mask recommendation signs in county buildings, which was defeated by a 2-1 vote. Superivors Chair Chuck Morris says it sends the wrong message to the county’s public health department to eliminate all recommendations.
“I think if we tell our public health department that we don’t think it’s important to at least help them express the CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health guidance, that we’re being disrespectful to their efforts over the last 18 months,” said Morris.
Holmes says he would be fine with placing a mask recommendation on the bulletin board of the courthouse, as long as wording regarding vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals was taken out.
“I really don’t like any verbiage sorting people or making somebody that doesn’t wear a mask a liar, if they haven’t had a vaccine,” said Holmes. “I don’t like that. The pledge we did at the beginning was ‘Liberty and justice for all.’ So, why are we making a sign that makes somebody if you haven’t had a vaccine, you must wear this mask.”
The supervisors elected to let other boards in the county determine where signage would be placed at their respective offices.