Members of the Jackson County Board of Supervisors put common sense and the well-being of their constituents above politics when they chose to keep a county mask mandate in place earlier this month despite Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ decision to do otherwise.

The pandemic continues to pose a dangerous threat to our community – especially our elderly – and that will not change until vaccines are readily available to all of us. As a matter of fact, new strains of the virus are now present in our state, and likely in our community, that are scientifically known to be more contagious than the original strain, which has itself proven to be quite contagious.

While there are strong political forces dividing us about how to best manage the challenges the pandemic has caused, science has clearly shown that wearing masks in public helps keep us safe, and we are grateful our supervisors – Mike Steines, Jack Willey, Larry McDevitt – made the decision they did.