Omaha Police, Hy-Vee respond to planned anti-mask event this weekend

Hy-vee 180th & Q
Hy-vee 180th & Q(WOWT)
Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 10:47 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A group of Omaha anti-maskers known as “No Mask Omaha” is catching police attention for a planned event Saturday at the Hy-Vee on 180th & Q streets.

The event is touted as a way to “take a stand for our freedoms,” encouraging people to engage in “maskless group shopping.”

Though it’s not clear what exactly the group plans to do and how to do it, Hy-Vee won’t allow it.

Tina Potthoff, Senior Vice President of Communications for the grocery chain said: "In the best interest of our customers and employees, we will not allow this to take place on our property. We are working closely with local law enforcement agencies to ensure we maintain a safe shopping environment for everyone.”

Meanwhile, Omaha Police said they will monitor this and work with Hy-Vee.

On their department’s Facebook page they shared the event flyer with a caption that read in part “Citations will be issued for violating the mask ordinance.”

This event has been brought to the attention of the Omaha Police Department. Officers will monitor and work with Hy-Vee. Citations will be issued for violating the mask mandate.

Posted by Omaha Police Department on Thursday, November 12, 2020

If in fact things come to that, it’ll be the first time that ever happens since the pandemic began in Omaha.

And it seems to be a precedent favored by shoppers. After talking to nearly a dozen patrons at the business Thursday, the overwhelming consensus was that the event was foolish.

“It’s just really uncalled for. I mean, you have health officials that say ‘wear a mask. It helps everybody out.' Why fight the power? Let’s just get it over with,” one shopper said.

OPD is expected to address enforcement of the Omaha mask ordinance at a 2 p.m. Friday news conference with Mayor Jean Stothert and Douglas County Health Director.

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