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Hastings joins other Tri-Cities with mask mandate vote

Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 11:09 PM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Hastings Mayor Corey Stutte introduced a mask requirement ordinance at a city council work session Monday evening.

It read that all people older than five years old must wear a face covering at all indoor public locations. Owners of public facilities must post one or more signs stating this requirement. Not following this ordinance can lead to a misdemeanor and a fee of at least $25 per violation.

Mayor Stutte said he spoke with city leaders in the other Tri-Cities and they decided that consistency in requirements would cause the least amount of confusion.

“It makes a lot of sense because we have a lot of people going to work in Grand Island,” Mayor Stutte said. “A lot of people in Grand Island are coming here, a lot of people are going to Kearney. The Tri-Cities are certainly commerce hubs and we want to be consistent so there isn’t any confusion going forward.”

Adams County has had 309 new COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks. Mayor Stutte said 76% of patients in Hastings hospitals are COVID positive.

The mask requirement aims to flatten the curve to help free up those life-saving resources as we enter flu season.

“Nobody necessarily likes to wear a mask,” Hastings City Administrator David Ptak said. “But it’s a small price to pay to flatten the curve and protect not only ourselves but our friends and family as well.”

“This is something that we are all in together,” Scott Snell, council member for Ward 4, said. “It’s something that no matter what you believe, how you feel, or what your political affiliation is, we’ve got to do this all together.”

The City Council will vote on the ordinance at their meeting next week. If approved, it will remain in affect until February 23.

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