Town of Cave Creek
Statement from Mayor Ernie Bunch
Town will not mandate mask usage but strongly encourages residents
to wear masks when in public
CAVE CREEK – Yesterday Governor Doug Ducey declared that he would give municipalities the authority to mandate mask wearing in public and essential buisnesses.
The Governor’s announcement followed recent headlines in national news outlets about COVID-19 cases surging statewide. As well as an open letter signed by about 1,000 medical professionals from Arizona that outlined the evidence that masks save lives, and implored the Governor to mandate mask usage statewide.
Mayor Ernie Bunch announced today that the Town of Cave Creek will not mandate people to wear masks in public or at Town Hall, but strongly encourages residents to wear a mask to slow the spread of the virus. Part of his reasoning is that the Town’s Emergency Proclamation regarding COVID-19 has expired giving him no authority unless he declares another emergency.
Mayor Bunch explained that although he understands that the scientific evidence supports wearing masks as an effective method to reduce the amount of saliva droplets in the atmosphere, which spread the virus, unfortunately the decision to wear a mask has become politicized.
According to Maricopa County extensive studies show that a cloth face covering made of household fabrics provides about 60 percent filtration of saliva droplets and efficiency improves when multiple layers of fabric are used. Residents can watch a video about how droplets are spread and how it impacts others in this video, or read more information about the efficacy of masks and the cited sources on Maricopa County’s website.
“The definition of confirmation bias is: ‘Bias that results from the tendency to process and analyze information in such a way that it supports one’s preexisting ideas and convictions,’” Mayor Bunch said.
“There are those among us who do not believe that masks will slow the spread of COVID-19, citing the particle size is too small for a mask to be effective. If we were dealing with individual particles that would be accurate. But, what a mask does filter to some degree is ‘droplets’ from a cough or sneeze, which carry and spread the virus.”
Wearing a mask actually does much more to protect those around you than it does the wearer. We have seen during this event that many choose not to observe social distancing or other precautions. That is likely why we are seeing an increase in the percentage of positive tests in Arizona and particularly Maricopa County.
“We all have immune systems that help us to fight viruses and bacterial infections. Whether you get sick or not depends on the condition of your personal immune system and the amount of ‘Viral Load’ you take on. These are indisputable medical facts,” he said.
A month ago the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests reported by the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS) was around 5 percent. In the last week AZDHS data has shown a significant rise of approximately 14 to 23 percent of tested individuals coming back positive.
This is not a good direction.
The majority of positive cases are in the 20-44 year-old age groups. While mortality in this group is not high, it is still a concern because of non-symptomatic carriers.
Because of the above facts I strongly suggest that individuals continue to wear masks in pubic, social distance, stay home if you feel sick or exhibit symptoms and practice hygiene measures suggested by our State and County health officials ,and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
“We have seen in the past months that many choose to ignore those safety measures and we really have no way to enforce the mandatory use of masks,” Bunch said. “I for one will continue to wear a mask where I deem it necessary but know this, I wear it out of respect for you as it protects others more than it does me.”