Omaha City Council Extends Mask Mandate to May 25
By Jack Williams , Managing Editor and Reporter Nebraska Public Media News
Feb. 9, 2021, 7:45 p.m. ·
The Omaha City Council has formally extended its mask mandate through May 25th even as COVID numbers in the community continue to decline. Council voted 7-0 Tuesday to extend the mandate that includes people five years and older in indoor public areas. An amendment to raise the minimum age to 12-years-old was defeated. Councilmember Aimee Melton supported the amendment and has been against the mask mandate all along.
“I’ve been pretty clear that I don’t think the government should be mandating this, that we should be following the recommendation of the experts and doing what the experts say without having this city council make it so you can be criminally cited and fined if you don’t do it,” Melton said.
Councilman Pete Festersen voted against the amendment but for the extension of the mask mandate and told other councilmembers now is not the time to change what has been working.
“I think it’s important at this time to remain consistent with what is working and what people are used to and not to cause additional confusion between what schools can do and what kids may or not be able to do at home,” Festersen said.
People who don’t wear masks in public can be fined in Omaha. As of Tuesday, there were 148 people hospitalized with COVID-related illnesses in Douglas County. There is still no statewide mask mandate.