Omaha is the last of the country’s largest cities without a mask mandate.
Out of the 100 largest cities, 99 have a mask mandate imposed by their state or local authorities. That makes Omaha, the country’s 40th-largest city, the biggest city in the U.S. without any mask mandate.
Omaha was on track to join the trend as Douglas County Health Director Adi Pour moved to implement a mask order, using her authority granted by city code. But Gov. Pete Ricketts threatened a lawsuit over that authority, leading Pour to back off.
On Monday, the left-leaning blog Seeing Red posted on Twitter about Omaha’s status as the country’s largest city without a state or local mask mandate. The blog post criticized Mayor Jean Stothert and Ricketts, offering a congratulations “for working together to make sure Nebraska’s largest city is #1 nationally in policy failure.”
The World-Herald checked the list of the 100 largest cities — 75 are under a mask mandate set by their state; 24, including the District of Columbia, have a local order.
The Omaha City Council is prepared to take up a mask ordinance starting next Tuesday.
The sponsors — Chris Jerram, Pete Festersen and Ben Gray — say they think they have the votes to pass it.
If they get six votes in favor of an emergency ordinance, a mandate would go into effect immediately. Otherwise, the process would run through August, and a mandate could go into effect around Sept. 9.