The Omaha mask mandate expires after nine months

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) – Wearing a mask in public places in Omaha is an election and no longer a legal requirement as of Tuesday at midnight.

“At this point we will no longer have a mask mandate in Omaha and people can decide for themselves whether they are more comfortable with a mask. That is absolutely fine. And for those who do not want it.” They are not required to wear one more mask, “said Omaha Councilor Aimee Melton.

Melton has been a strong advocate of the mandate since the idea was dropped about nine months ago.

“I’ve always felt that a mask mandate was too much of a government,” she said.

Other council members like Pete Festersen have long been in favor of a mandate.

“Almost every other city in the country has already done this, and we felt it was our responsibility to reinforce and take over that leadership,” said Festersen.

But now that the CDC is easing mask-wearing requirements for vaccinated individuals, both Melton and Festersen, along with fellow councilors, believe the mandate should expire without renewal.

“I think it’s time we continued our economic recovery,” said Festersen.

Nine months ago, in August, the Omaha City Council passed the Mask Mandate and several extensions thereafter. This came with strong opposition from members of the community.

Health officials say wearing masks has become a politicized activity and they wish it never got that far.

“Unfortunately, I think politics and ideology have become a little more central to people’s beliefs and perceptions about face masks and their effectiveness,” said Dr. James Lawler, director of the UNMC’s Global Center for Health Security.

Dr. Lawler believes face masks, along with other preventive measures, went a long way in preventing additional COVID-19 outbreaks and hospital stays.

“I hope that although mandates may expire, people will continue to use common sense and wear face masks in public places, especially indoors,” he said.

Mask mandates have also expired in Ralston, Lincoln, and most other metropolitan areas.

The Open Door Mission also loses its requirement for visitors, volunteers, and staff to mask themselves, but these protocols like temperature controls and social distancing efforts remain in place.

The request for the Open Door Mission mask expires

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