Gov. Pete Ricketts says Nebraska will not follow new CDC mask guidelines

LINCOLN, Neb. -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance regarding mask usage for those who are vaccinated. The guidelines recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors when in areas with "substantial" and "high" transmission of Covid-19, which includes nearly two-thirds of all US counties.

"In recent days I have seen new scientific data from recent outbreak investigations showing that the Delta variant behaves uniquely differently from past strains of the virus that cause Covid-19," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a media briefing on Tuesday.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts issued a statement regarding the new suggestions on Tuesday.

"The CDC's new guidance suggesting that vaccinated people wear masks indoors flies in the face of the public health goals that should guide the agency's decision making," Ricketts said in a press release. "The CDC announcement only furthers the distrust many have with the CDC and does not help to encourage more people to get the vaccines that are helping bring the pandemic to a conclusion. The state of Nebraska will not be adopting their mask guidance."

"Furthermore, I will reiterate my expectations for schools and universities in the fall," Ricketts said. "Schools should convene in person without mask or vaccine requirements."

"Nebraskans exercise personal responsibility for their own health, and are encouraged to have a conversation with their doctor about the vaccine," Ricketts continued. "These conversations will be important because the virus will be with us forever. Working together, we've successfully protected hospital capacity throughout the pandemic. It's time for the CDC and the government to get out of the way, and to stop trying to tell people to live their lives."