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Omaha metro health officials recommend ways to keep kids safe as we slowly unmask

Doctors say it’s going to take more people to get the COVID shot before we can fully be unmasked around kids.
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 7:14 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - After wearing masks for months, Jacqueline Casey with Crayon Castle Daycare can’t wait to take them off.

”I think that these masks need to come off. It’s time, it’s time to get back to normal,” said Casey.

The mask ordinance in Omaha is set to expire on May 25th and the CDC’s already relaxed the guidelines for those fully vaccinated.

Those 11 and younger can’t get a COVID vaccine yet but Casey doesn’t think that’s the reason to leave masks on.

”The fact that children don’t really get sick from this disease. If they do, they have nothing but a mild case or a cold,” said Casey.

But Dr. Mark Rupp with UNMC says it’s important to still be on the cautious side in children-focused facilities like daycares because kids can still get really sick from COVID.

“We see a multi-system inflammatory disorder that’s been described with COVID-19 that can likewise be serious. All too often we see some lingering symptoms, even with people who have mild disease and sometimes with our younger individuals,” said Rupp.

He tells us it’s going to take more people to get the COVID shot before we can fully be unmasked around kids.

“We all need to be vaccinated to protect our children so we’re not spreading it to them and likewise, they’re not serving to a reservoir and spreading it to older and vulnerable adults,” said Rupp.

At Omaha Children’s Museum, they plan to stay on the safe side even after the mandate expires. All staff will continue to wear their masks and although it won’t be a requirement, Lindy Hoyer says it is highly recommended attendees still wear a face covering when inside.

“Our core audience that we serve our young children who aren’t at this time eligible to receive the vaccine. So we want to make sure we’re creating the safest environment for the adults and the children,” said Lindy.

Even though the COVID cases are going down, the museum still plans to keep the areas clean with sanitizing stations and even air filtering systems.

“That is recycling the air and purifying the air on a regular basis.”

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