PAPILLION, Neb. (KMTV) — Last week the Papillion City Council passed a mask mandate that went into effect almost immediately.
"This mask mandate is just another public health measure, just like many other public health measures that government has the authority to impose. The purpose is not so much to regulate individual people but to promote the health of everybody," Tom Mumgaard, council member said.
The ordinance was passed with no set expiration date, though. Instead it was passed with a sunset provision, meaning the state would have to drop to a certain level of hospitalizations for it to expire.
"Rather than pick a date on the calendar, we wanted to tie it directly to COVID statistics so that if COVID declined dramatically the mask ordinance would expire accordingly," said Trenton Albers, Communications Manager of the City of Papillion.
The mandate will expire once the state reaches less than 20% of active COVID hospitalizations. The state would have to reach that average level for 14 days.
"They report daily active hospitalizations and then we’re taking those numbers and using them on a 14 day rolling average, so taking the last 14 days and averaging them from what the overall total hospital beds in the state," Albers said.
Using that 14 day average allows for the city to get a better picture of the numbers.
"It just made sense for us to also use the average of those active hospitalizations, so you really do have more of a picture of what’s going on than rather taking one day where you have far fewer hospitalizations or picking a day on the calendar where it expires where it doesn’t have any tie in to any actual statistics," Albers said.
If the state were to spike in COVID hospitalizations again, after the mandate expires, the council would have to reconvene and implement another ordinance.