Omaha residents share opinions on wearing masks

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 19:17:36-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — A new study by the University of California, San Diego suggests wearing a mask is one of the best ways to slow the spread of coronavirus.

But across the country, and in Omaha, many still choose to not wear masks.

“I prefer the mask, we haven’t gotten past that first surge yet,” said Al Ramos, an Omaha resident. “Until the CDC clears us I’ll still use my mask.”

“I think we all need to use our common sense,” said Glenda Rosenthal, an Omaha resident.

Rosenthal said she wears a mask at all times indoors but takes it off when going on runs outside.

“We need to get on top of this and unless we follow the rules of the medical association we’ll never get on top of it," she said.

But not everyone feels the masks are a must.

“The mask is stupid honestly,” said Lyrica Bordner, an Omaha resident.

“If you want to wear one that’s on you. I don’t personally feel the need to wear one. I’m not too worried about getting it honestly,” said Bailey Dotson, an Omaha resident.

Dr. Mark Rupp, the Chief of Infectious Diseases at Nebraska Medicine, said it’s important for people to wear masks.

“Face masks have some value. They’re clearly not a tight-fitting respirator, this face mask is a loose fitting cloth covering,” said Rupp.

He said face masks help provide protection in three different ways.

“It protects the wearer with some degree of filtration, it helps other people by preventing the dispersal of respiratory droplets and it serves as a good reminder to practice hand hygiene, don’t touch your face and social distancing,” Rupp said.

On Thursday Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts said he would consider withholding COVID relief money from counties who require masks.

"Counties are not prohibited from requiring masks. But if they want CARES Act money, they have to be fully open, and that means they cannot deny service for not wearing a mask," said Taylor Gage, the Director of Strategic Communications for the Governor’s Office, in a statement provided Thursday to 3 News Now media partners at the Omaha World-Herald.

People 3 News Now talked to said they feel masks are becoming politicized.

“Of course, it is but I’ll lean on the side of science,” Ramos said. “If the CDC tells me to wear my mask I’ll wear it.”

Watch reporter Phil Bergman’s story in the above video.