Omaha City Council extends face mask ordinance

Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 3:11 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha City Council on Tuesday voted 5-2 to extend its face mask ordinance to Oct. 20.

The ordinance went into effect Aug. 11 and was set to expire Sept. 15.

The council asked Douglas County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour for guidance on what benchmarks the city should look for when considering an end to the face mask ordinance. Pour gave two:

  • a positivity rate of less than 5%
  • new case numbers at 10 per day per million

When voting on the extension, councilmembers had concerns about the length of the ordinance while some also had concerns about the effectiveness of masks and when to stop the requirement.

“The benchmark that I am proposing and have had some discussion with Nebraska Medicine is a positivity rate less than 5 percent,” Pour advised.

She also said when to look at the new number of cases each day as there should be 10 per day per million.

That would mean about six cases per day when specifically looking at Douglas County.

The ordinance will be revisited in the future if another extension is needed -- or not. The ordinance also adds an exemption for athletes while playing sports.

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