Jan 12, 2022 1:28 PM

State AG may sue to block planned mask mandate in Omaha

Posted Jan 12, 2022 1:28 PM

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Health officials want to impose a new mask mandate in Omaha to slow the spread of COVID-19 as surging virus cases continue to strain hospital capacity, but the state said it would sue to block the rule if it is imposed Wednesday as planned.

Douglas County Health Director Lindsay Huse announced the new temporary mandate Tuesday despite the objections of Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and Gov. Pete Ricketts to help give hospitals the “breathing room they need.”

The state said the number of people hospitalized with the virus continues to grow this week and hit 635 on Monday.

Hospital officials have said they worry that number will soar in the next couple weeks because of the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant.