Council approves mask mandate for city of Wayne


 Whether or not to require citizens to wear a mask was debated during Tuesday's meeting of the Wayne City Council.

Medical professionals, representatives of the Northeast Nebraka Public Health Department, council members and the public provided input on the issue during a lengthly discussion.

Dr. Melissa Dobbins, a member of the city's Board of Health and Julie Rother with the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department spoke to the council on the benefits of wearing masks, in conjunction with other safety precautions, in keeping the public safe. 

Council members spoke on the feedback they had received from the people they represent. Several changes in wording of the emergency ordinance were discussed and the sunset date of the ordinance was set at Feb. 2.

Several members of the public, both those in attendance at the meeting in person and those who were taking part via Zoom, expressed their thoughts on the mandate. These comments ranged from how the ordinance would be enforced to the fact that the mandate would take away citizens' freedoms to conducting more research on how many people are already wearing masks.

Following the discussion, the council voted unanimously to amend the city code to require all those over the age of five years to wear face coverings when in public. Due to the emergency nature of the issue, the ordinance will go into effect on Friday, Dec. 4.

The complete ordinance has been posted on the city's website.