Douglas County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour says because of legal disagreements and issues between the State Attorney General's office and the City of Omaha Legal Department regarding the face mask mandate for Omaha, a mandate will not be declared at this time.
Pour still strongly urges people to wear face coverings in public.
At a Friday news conference, U - N - M - C infectious disease expert Dr. Mark Rupp, called attention to what he calls the political nature of the face mask mandate.
“Personally, I’m very disappointed that we’re not here before you to announce a masking mandate for Omaha and Douglas County,” he said.
“I’m frustrated that as a community we could not find a way to surmount perceived political threats, potential legal challenge, or logistical hurdles to mandate mask usage in our locality.”
Rupp also encourages the public to continue wearing face masks.
“It is incumbent upon each of us to do the right thing, to show personal responsibility, and to wear a cloth face covering or face mask whenever we cannot maintain a safe minimum distance from one another or when we are in an indoor shared environment,” he said.
Mayor Jean Stothert mentioned the possibility of a city council proposal, but it would take weeks to move an ordinance through the legislative process.
The Mayor said in her opinion, "we all should have been wearing masks a week ago."