Think Ames logo


Face Covering Ordinance in Effect on Friday

The Ames City Council voted to implement a mandatory face covering ordinance at a special meeting held Tuesday, Sept. 1. The ordinance, which requires face coverings in public space, will go into effect on Friday, Sept. 4.

Although the face covering ordinance was originally scheduled for consideration at the regular City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 8, recent COVID-19 positive test data for Story County from the Iowa Department of Public Health and continued urging from local healthcare professionals compelled the Ames City Council to consider the ordinance earlier.

The ordinance requires people in Ames ages 3 and older to wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth unless they qualify for an exemption. The ordinance will remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2020, unless amended.

The ordinance applies in these situations:

-Face coverings are required when you are outside and cannot stay at least six feet away from others who are not members of your household
-Face coverings are required when you are inside any indoor setting where the public is invited, including but not limited to:
Grocery, retail, and hardware stores
Gas stations and convenience stores
Fitness centers
Any other indoor public setting when with persons who do not live in the person’s household
Other public settings that are not the person’s place of residence. A childcare facility is not considered a public setting or a facility where the public is invited in.

-A person is not required to wear a face covering at the following places or times:
While traveling in a personal vehicle alone or with household members
While a person is in the person’s household or the household’s yard, or in another person’s household
While outside, where at least six (6) feet of physical separation from others can be maintained
While at a person’s place of employment where at least six (6) feet of physical separation from others can be maintained
While exercising at moderate or high intensity, such as jogging or biking or while engaging in or practicing for sporting activities
While seated inside or outside at a food establishment in the process of eating or drinking
While seated inside or outside at a bar in the process of eating or drinking
While obtaining a service that would require temporary removal of the person’s face covering
When federal or state law prohibits wearing a face covering or requires the removal of the face covering

-The following persons are exempt from wearing a face covering:
Persons younger than three (3) years of age
Anyone who has a medical condition causing difficulty of breathing or is on oxygen therapy or a ventilator
Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance
Anyone who has been advised by a medical or behavioral health professional not to wear face coverings
Anyone actively engaged in a public safety role, including but not limited to law enforcement, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel, although a face covering should be worn if possible

To read the ordinance in its entirety and to see other frequently asked questions, go to

Susan Gwiasda Public Relations Officer,, 515.239.5204
Mark Lambert, City Attorney,, 515.239.5146

Submitted by City of Ames

Back to News