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VOIDED BY CITY COUNCIL - City of Wahoo Mask Mandate

City Council overrides the Board of Health and eliminated mask mandate in Wahoo

November 25, 2020

UPDATE - On December 22, 2020 the City Council voted to declare the Board of Health Order for a mask mandate in public spaces in Wahoo null and void. The Council suggested that masks be used as part of the fight against COVID-19. Businesses may post signs and require individuals to wear a mask to enter their business. 


On Monday, November 23, 2020 the Wahoo Board of Health met to discuss the possible implementation of a mask mandate in Wahoo in the fight against the Coronavirus and COVID-19. A unanimous decision was made to implement a mask mandate within the City Limits of the City of Wahoo effective immediately. This mandate will remain in effect until January 4, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. unless otherwise acted upon by the City Council.


Members of the board discussed the recent upward trend in positive cases across Saunders County and the State, the concerns with the high number of hospitalizations in recent days, as well as ways to assist in keeping our local businesses open and our kids in school. According to the COVID-19 Dashboard on State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website, Saunders County has had 270 positive cases in the past 14 days. In addition, the Wahoo Board of Health Medical Advisor strongly recommended a mask mandate be implemented in Wahoo to assist in controlling the spread of the virus. Action will be taken by the City Council at their November 24, 2020 meeting to either reaffirm or void the action of the Wahoo Board of Health. (UPDATE - The Council approved the first reading of an ordinance to affirm the mask mandate on a 4-3 vote. Second and third readings of the ordinance will take place at subsequent meetings. Until action is taken by the Council to void the mandate, the Order of the Board of Health remains in place.)


Full details of the mask mandate can be found in Order No. 2020-03, but generally it requires all persons over the age of five (5) to wear a face covering over their mouth and nose while indoors in a premises open to the public, unless the individual maintains a minimum of six (6) feet of separation or social distance at all times from anyone who is not a member of the individual’s household. Exceptions to this include those individuals seeking state, county, or city government services; anyone seated at a bar or restaurant to eat or drink or while immediately consuming food or beverages; anyone engaged in an occupation preventing the wearing of a face covering; anyone obtaining a service or purchasing a good that requires the temporary removal of the face covering; anyone who is asked to remove a face covering to verify an identity for lawful purposes; anyone who is providing a speech, lecture, or broadcast to an audience so long as six (6) feet of distancing from other individuals is maintained; or anyone who cannot otherwise wear a face covering because of a medical condition, a mental health condition, or a disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to wear a face covering.


In the event there is a future mandate by either the county, state and/or federal government, then the most restrictive mandate shall be controlling.


   Wahoo Board of Health Order No. 20-03


   Printable Sign - PDF 1
   Printable Sign - PDF 2
   Printable Sign - Details - PDF 3


Frequently Asked Questions:


Q:  When do I have to wear a mask?

A:  A mask is required within Wahoo city limits when you are in public or utilizing a private or public business and are unable to maintain a constant six-foot distance from those around you.


Q:  What businesses does this include?

A:  Businesses that are open to the general public. This means all entities that employ or engage workers, including private and public businesses, nonprofits, private clubs, religious centers, public transportation, educational institutions and daycare facilities.


Q:  What if the business is a restaurant?

A:  Masks are required inside restaurants until the patron is seated or unless the patron is immediately consuming food or beverages.


Q:  Do I need a mask at the gym?

A:  Masks are required inside gyms and fitness centers. Patrons can take them off if the level of exertion makes it difficult to wear a face covering, but only if six feet of separation can be maintained. Masks are not required when swimming.


Q:  What if a mask makes my job dangerous?

A:  Masks do not need to be worn if they would create a job hazard as determined by federal, state or local regulators or workplace safety and health standards and guidelines.


Q:  Do children need to wear masks in public?

A:  Children under the age of five are exempt from the mask requirement.


Q:  How should I get the word out about the mask policy?

A:  Each business is responsible for posting their own sign that is visible to the public. Click HERE for a link to a printable sign.


Q:  What if I have a medical condition that makes it difficult to wear a mask?

A:  Under this city ordnance, masks do not need to be worn if the individual cannot otherwise wear a face covering because of a medical condition, a mental health condition, or a disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to wear a face covering. Individuals may find it convenient to get a note from their physician to make interactions with businesses easier. However, businesses can choose to have stronger mask requirements than the ordinance, meaning individual businesses can require you to wear a mask inside regardless of medical condition. It's best to check with the individual business before arriving.


Q:  What other exceptions are there?

A:  Masks do not need to be worn if the individual’s desk or workstation has a solid Plexiglas or plastic barrier installed that cannot be moved when interacting with the public.  Masks do not need to be worn by public safety workers actively engaged in a public safety role, including but not limited to law enforcement personnel, fire fighters, or emergency medical personnel, in situations where wearing a face covering would seriously interfere in the performance of the individual's public safety responsibilities.


Q:  Does the mask requirement apply to businesses that see customers by appointment only?

A:  If the staff of the business and the customer can maintain 6 feet of distancing at all times, they would not need face coverings.


Q:  Do individuals that have already tested positive for COVID-19 still have to wear a face covering?

A:  Yes


Q:  What do I do if I see someone not wearing a face covering, even though they should be?

A:  Nothing. Some people have conditions or circumstances that would make wearing a cloth face covering difficult or dangerous. Just wear your face covering and stay six feet away.



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