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Ricketts Holds Off On State Mask Mandate As More Cities Enact Their Own

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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. 

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