(Omaha, NE) -- The Omaha Police and Fire Departments are implementing a mask mandate due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
On Wednesday, the Omaha Police Department released a statement outlining the decision. OPD says they currently have 35 employees off work due to testing positive for COVID and that the fire department has 39 off work due to testing positive. City leaders say most employees are vaccinated and have mild symptoms, but that a few unvaccinated employees have recently been hospitalized.
"The Omaha Police and Fire Department's highest priorities are the safety of our employees, the community members we serve and the preservation of our workforces. Today, at the recommendation of our medical directors, Chief Todd Schmaderer and Chief Dan Olsen in consultation with Mayor Jean Stothert, are implementing a mask mandate for all OPD and OFD employees. All OPD employees will be required to wear a surgical mask while indoors, in a vehicle with another person and when interacting with the public. OFD employees will be required to wear surgical or N95 masks on medical emergencies. Firefighters will be required to wear surgical masks when interacting with the public, and inside Fire Stations. Chief Schmaderer, Chief Olsen and our medical directors will continue to monitor the local COVID infection rate, and when safe to do so, will re-evaluate the mask mandates for OPD and OFD employees."