Omaha’s Mask Mandate Extends to November 24th Due to Virus Surges

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OMAHA, NE: The Omaha City Council voted to continue to require a mask in indoor settings. This is to help prevent the pandemic from worsening to November 24th. The council voted 5-2 to extend the city’s mask requirement. This is just days before families with be gathering indoors to eat a Thanksgiving meal and plan their Black Friday shopping extravaganza

Omaha’s Top Medical Experts Warnings: Wear a Mask

Omaha’s top medical experts on Tuesday warned that people must remain determined in their efforts to keep the Corona Virus at bay. This information was especially important with cold weather approaching. In addition, to influenza season looming and COVID-19 cases on the rise.

Disappointing Week With Rising COVID-19 Cases

Adi Pour, director of the Douglas County Health Department, said the county experienced “a very disappointing week” of rising numbers. This was related to the coronavirus. A recent 12.5% positivity rate was the highest on record since May 30, Pour said. A seven-day rolling average of 268 cases per million people was much higher than 174 cases. This occurred just two weeks ago, she told the council.

The vote came a day after the University of Nebraska Medical Center officials said that the state going toward a “dangerous period” in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Local Hospitals Lack the Capacity to Handle Potential Cases Increases

Dr. Mark Rupp, chief of the division of infectious diseases at UNMC, told council members that local hospitals the capacity to handle a further increase in cases. This especially true once the flu season begins in earnest. “We see warning signs. If they adhered to, we could easily approach a crisis,” Rupp said. This was referring to the hospital’s capacity. “We are not in a crisis mode at present.”

Another local vulnerability, Rupp said, is a “relatively small pool of critical care nurses, physicians and support staff” working diligently since the pandemic began.

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