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Papillion considers new mask ordinance after old one expires

Vote expected
Posted at 6:19 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 09:13:29-05

PAPILLION, Neb. (KMTV) — The Papillion City Council is considering an ordinance that could make it easier to reinstate its mask mandate should the need arise.

A mask mandate was approved on Dec. 4 by the Papillion City Council, after several days of discussion and public comment. Now just 10 days later, that mandate is expiring.

On Saturday, the State of Nebraska entered the yellow zone of COVID-19 hospitalizations- with 20% of hospital beds now available. This was the criteria set out by the council for the mandate to expire, and the mandate was no longer in effect after Tuesday.

Now a new ordinance is being considered. It includes the same mandate, but, if passed, would make it so Papillion is brought back under a mask mandate if Nebraska once again ventures into the orange or red zone.

“A council member would like to have an additional trigger put in place which is when would it automatically be reactivated and have the same type of threshold," Mayor David Black explained during the Tuesday council meeting. "So what is being proposed and introduced is the exact same mask mandate we had, with the same threshold- the 14-day moving [hospitalization] average- to expire.The addition is based on the 7-day [hospitalization] average, it would move back in place."

The new ordinance received its first reading on Tuesday night. Councilman Steve Sunde, who was opposed to the original mandate questioned this new proposed ordinance.

“What is the policy for introducing a new ordinance at the 11th hour like this one was?" the councilman said.

Mayor Black explained that the ordinance was submitted within 24 hours of its reading, and was allowed by the council.

The ordinance must be read three times on three different days before it can be voted on. The council will have its second reading and public hearing at its next meeting.

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