Returning to the mask mandate


Vivian Kaldahl

Students and staff were required to comply with the new citywide mask mandate put in place on Jan. 11. The mandate will be in place for 4 weeks.

With the recent increase of COVID-19 cases, along with new variants like Delta, Omicron, and the possibility of a new hybrid called Deltacron, there has been an increased worry of a second complete economic lockdown. With these new variants having the ability to spread easier, mask mandates have been issued in many states, including Nebraska. With the lack of staff and substitutes, like Millard having more than 180 staff absences in a given day, school districts are running out of people to run schools. School districts like Millard and Lincoln have moved to four days a week for the next few weeks. 

A new citywide mask mandate has left people torn. Some feel it is necessary to go into a mask mandate to put a stop to the virus, and some argue that they are fully vaccinated, that there shouldn’t be a reason to put a mask on. Many people feel the same way as senior Charlie Misbach. 

“As much as I do not like masks, I would rather wear a mask than go back to a total lockdown. If that’s what it takes to get closer to a normal life, I will wear them,” Misbach said.

 The CDC’s current guidelines state you only need to quarantine for five days if vaccinated, which is shorter than the two weeks it used to be. Tests are more readily available and can be done at home, but Nebraska no longer funds tests, deterring people from testing. 

If that’s what it takes to get closer to a normal life, I will wear them

— Senior Charlie Misbach


With the vaccine, the new variants will have more subtle symptoms than those of the original variant of COVID-19, but it does spread easier, still putting kids at risk in places like elementary schools and daycares, and the elderly population. Many schools have gone back to the original mask mandate instated last year, along with many employers around the Omaha area. Some workplaces are not enforcing masks at all, some are only requiring employees to wear masks, and some are requiring both employees and customers to wear them inside. 

If you are a Nebraska resident and aren’t currently vaccinated and would like to get vaccinated, you can contact your local pharmacy or schedule an appointment to get the vaccine, and if you need a test, contact Test Nebraska to schedule your test.