(KFOR NEWS  August 4, 2021)  United States District Court Chief Judge for Nebraska, Robert F. Rossiter, Jr., has decided that everyone entering a federal courthouse in Nebraska MUST wear a mask…whether they are fully vaccinated or not.


The Court has continued to monitor the local and national emergency occasioned by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have now advised that all persons, regardless of vaccination status, wear a face covering in public or indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission to further reduce the spread of  coronavirus.  In accordance with that guidance, effective Wednesday, August 4, 2021:

1. All persons in a federal courthouse in Nebraska, including fully vaccinated persons, shall wear a face covering in public spaces in the courthouse when community transmission is substantial or high based on the CDC COVID Data Tracker.

2. Persons who are not fully vaccinated in a federal courthouse in Nebraska shall continue to wear a face covering in public spaces in the courthouse regardless of the level of community transmission.

3. Fully vaccinated persons in a federal courthouse in Nebraska shall wear a face covering in public spaces following known or suspected exposure to COVID-19 or until they receive a negative test result at least 3-5 days after their exposure.

4. Persons who are not fully vaccinated must continue to quarantine in accordance with CDC guidelines if they have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

5. For purposes of this General Order, in accordance with CDC guidelines, a person is “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.  Individuals shall honestly determine their own vaccination status and follow the appropriate requirements while in the courthouse.

6. Nothing in this General Order shall prevent the presiding judge in a court proceeding from directing or permitting the use or removal of face coverings by participants in that proceeding.

7. When community transmission is high or substantial, signage will be posted at courthouse entrances and in lobbies and common areas indicating that face coverings are required to be worn by all persons accessing the buildings and all persons in public spaces of the buildings.  Court Security Officers shall inform those entering the courthouse of this order and shall enforce it by excluding any person from the building who does not comply with its requirements.  The Court Security
Officers shall provide any person barred from entering a building with a list of telephone numbers for the agencies in the building.

8. If any person cannot comply with the requirement to wear a face covering because of a medical condition or for some other reason, an exemption or accommodation may be authorized by the Court or by a responsible official of the tenant agency with whom the person has business. That official may, if necessary, inquire into the basis of the requested exemption or accommodation.

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