Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Mason City officials monitoring new COVID-19 uptick
alert top story

Mason City officials monitoring new COVID-19 uptick

Bill Schickel and Edith Blanchard

Mason City Mayor Bill Schickel chats with the Charles H. MacNider Art Museum's Edith Blanchard about how creative endeavors can be important de-stressers during this time.

After their chat, Schickel said that the city is continuing to keep a close eye on the COVID situation across the state and in the county.

During a weekly press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Mason City Mayor Bill Schickel said he's concerned. He's been watching the increase in COVID-19 cases across Iowa and is worried about what the ramifications could be at the local level.

But with any worry, there's also some reassurance. 

"This is a new thing for all of us but I really think Mason City and North Iowa have stepped up," Schickel said. 

To make his point, Schickel mentioned the compliance the city has had with its mandate that masks be worn by residents when they're in any public buildings. That requirement, which began in July, is indefinite for now and is enforced, in part, by asking anyone who is not complying to leave the area. "I’m pleased with how people are abiding by that," he said.

In conjunction with the public building mandate, Schickel said that city officials are continuing to ask and strongly recommend that people wear masks at all public gatherings as well. However, Schickel made it clear there are certain mandate powers the city doesn't have. Certain citywide compliance orders are possible. All officials do is encourage.

That public effort, Schickel acknowledged, is more important now as school is back in the swing of things and adding a new element to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Support Local Journalism

Your membership makes our reporting possible.

Just yesterday, the Mason City Community School District announced that the football team would have to pack it in for two weeks because of exposure to the virus. 

"In one way sports is like art that it can and does bring us together so obviously it’s unfortunate we cannot have football for a couple of weeks here but I think it’s the right decision," Schickel said. Even if the measure might seem drastic to some, Schickel noted that the school district has to have safety as the first priority. 

For the city, one of the bigger tests that COVID-19 has presented is to the budget. 

Schickel said that the city closed off this past fiscal year in good shape but it is still putting in for available relief funding from the state. The move is meant to cover increased expenses related to COVID such as added hours and work loads for city departments. According to him, Mason City is asking for at least $600,000 from the state for those costs. 

At the Mason City Council meeting on Tuesday night, the five-member panel unanimously approved the move.

What a Globe Gazette News+ membership can do for you:

  • A deeper examination of local issues than you'll find anywhere else.
  • Two products in one – not everything that's in the print edition of the Globe Gazette is on our website, and not everything on our website is in the print edition.
  • Access to archives dating back two years.
  • The ability to carry your local news with you and receive alerts instantly as news unfolds.
  • Advertising that frequently gets you deals you won't find anywhere else.

You can join here ( for as little as $5 a month.

ICYMI: Stories from the weekend

Take a look at stories from the weekend you might have missed:

alert top story
  • Updated
  • 0

 We are living in an age in which name-calling and espousing conspiracy theories have become a popular sport.

Jared McNett covers local government for the Globe Gazette. You can reach him at or by phone at 641-421-0527. Follow Jared on Twitter at @TwoHeadedBoy98.


Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

  • Updated

The percentage of Americans who believe President Donald Trump is doing enough to contain the coronavirus pandemic is declining, according to polling that also found more people saying the economy is worse than when he took office.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News