Ricketts introduced new DHM, said ‘I’m against a mask mandate’

Posted at 10:01 AM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 19:33:53-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts held a press conference to provide updates on the state's response to COVID-19. He introduced a new Directed Health Measure (DHM) and said he will not consider a statewide mask mandate.

The new DHM will take effect on Monday and will postpone surgeries which can wait 4 to12 weeks. This comes, the governor said, because COVID-19 patients have hit a threshold of occupying 20 percent of hospital staff beds. If that percentage gets to 25 percent, more restrictions will come into play which will impact youth sports, bars, restaurants and more.

The governor's staff provided this visual guide, outlining the threshold levels:

Currently, the state is at the orange level.

When asked about a mask mandate and whether the state's Department of Health and Services (DHHS) would approve mask mandates proposed by other health departments and cities, the governor said no and that he "is against mask mandates." Whether one could be enabled by cities depends on their charter law he said such as what exists in cities like Omaha and Lincoln.

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