Ricketts Holds Off On State Mask Mandate As More Cities Enact Their Own
Cities in Nebraska juggle the issue of whether to require masks as the state's governor continues to resist issuing a statewide mask mandate while the coronavirus pandemic takes a toll on the state. Grand Island police have made clear they'll enforce that city's mandate, passed last week, by charging violators with public nuisance counts. A surge in cases in recent weeks led Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts to reissue some statewide restrictions, including requiring masks in salons and tattoo parlors. But Ricketts has refused to impose a statewide mask mandate. Meanwhile, a mask ordinance is now in effect in Papillion. The city council voted seven-to-one Thursday night in favor of the mandate, but did add an amendment not seen in most places. The Papillion mask ordinance will be lifted once fewer than fifteen-percent of Nebraska hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients. That number is currently around 21-percent.