Ankeny Mayor Gary Lorenz signed a proclamation today encouraging all residents to wear a mask or face covering in public to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. In the proclamation, Lorenz cites the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Polk County and the state of Iowa, and federal health officials’ recommendations that masks or face covering be used, along with social distancing guidelines, to help slow the virus’s spread. “Wearing a mask is a simple step we can all take to protect the safety of our neighbors, family and our favorite businesses,” Lorenz wrote in a news release announcing the signing of the proclamation. He said it is critical that the community do everything it can to protect itself from the virus and keep its businesses open. Officials said they acknowledge there are different opinions on wearing masks, but recognize the role residents play to protect the health of the community.