Lincoln-Lancaster County mask mandate goes into effect Saturday

Virus Outbreak-US
Posted at 6:20 PM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 19:20:04-05

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — On Friday, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department issued a directed health measure to mandate masks for indoor public settings for everyone ages two and older.

Directed Health Measures 2021-27 goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, in other words, when Friday becomes Saturday. It was authorized by Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department Dir. Patricia Lopez in response to the coronavirus.

The LLCHD is choosing to educate first before other measures are taken: "LLCHD will evaluate complaints and determine the best way to provide education to individuals, businesses and organizations that are noncompliant," reads the City of Lincoln COVID-19 Response page. "Education will be first before pursuing enforcement. When necessary, enforcement will generally focus on businesses or individuals that, despite attempts to educate, continue to violate the DHM. Both LLCHD and law enforcement may enforce the DHM."

Potential punishments for noncompliance include a $100 to $500 fine and three months in jail as a misdemeanor offense, with additional violations counting as separating offenses.

There are exceptions to the mask mandate that include exercising while eating or drinking, delivering a speech or broadcast to an audience, in court or in group homes and treatment facilities, those engaged in occupations that prevent the wearing of a mask and situations where individuals are six or more feet apart at all times.

The directed health measure includes the City of Lincoln and Lancaster County and will continue through 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 11 unless it is renewed.

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