State rejects Douglas County’s request to issue mask mandate


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska’s health agency has rejected a request from the state’s most populous county for approval to issue a countywide mandate requiring people to wear face masks indoors.

The order would have applied not only to businesses, but to schools within Douglas County’s borders.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services denied on Tuesday the request from Douglas County Health Director Lindsay Huse.

In his denial, Nebraska Director of Public Health Gary Anthone said his agency had to balance the benefit to the public with “individual liberty.”

The state agency is overseen by Gov. Pete Ricketts, who has steadfastly opposed mask mandates, even as COVID-19 cases have soared.

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