Mask Mandates Extended in Omaha, Lincoln Even as Cases Fall

By JOSH FUNK, Related Press

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Masks mandates have been prolonged in Nebraska’s two largest cities as a result of virus instances and hospitalizations stay greater than well being officers wish to see despite the fact that they’re falling.

Omaha officers introduced their determination Wednesday to increase their mandate every week a day after Lancaster County officers stated their mandate would proceed by way of Feb. 25.

Douglas County Well being Director Lindsay Huse stated the variety of new COVID-19 instances stays too excessive to drop the indoor masks mandate When she introduced the mandate final month, Huse stated the seven-day complete of latest instances per 100,000 individuals in Omaha would wish to fall beneath 200 and hospitals would have to be lower than 85% full for every week earlier than the rule can be lifted.

Over the previous week, 344.6 instances per 100,000 individuals have been reported and Omaha hospitals have solely been at or beneath 85% full for 4 days in a row.

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Statewide, the seven-day rolling common of day by day new instances in Nebraska fell dramatically over the previous two weeks, going from 4,088.57 new instances per day on Jan. 24 to 1,036.14 new instances per day on Monday.

The variety of individuals hospitalized with the virus within the state dipped beneath 600 this week for the primary time since early January and it hit 585 Tuesday. That quantity has steadily declined since peaking at 767 on Jan. 28 however hospitals stay burdened and the variety of sufferers is declining slowly.

“We’re all anxious to place this surge behind us, however proper now, our hospitals nonetheless want our assist to alleviate a few of the strain they proceed to expertise,” Lincoln-Lancaster County Well being Director Pat Lopez stated. “It’s vital to not take away preventative measures too quickly solely to lose the bottom we’ve gained.”

Additionally Wednesday, a choose set a June 16 trial date for the state’s lawsuit difficult Omaha’s masks mandate. Final month, the choose refused to dam the mandate whereas the case strikes ahead as a result of she stated it seems that metropolis code offers the well being director the facility to impose it with out getting state approval.

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