David City Mayor Alan Zavodny signed an executive order mandating masks within the jurisdiction of the corporate limits of David City, Nebraska.
He signed the order at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. He referred to the executive order as “Spencer’s Order” in honor of Spencer Kloke. Spencer is in an ICU in Lincoln being treated for COVID-19. Spencer experiences cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities. “Spencer represents the best of us.” Spencer’s father is someone the mayor said he knows because he is originally from David City.
“Our current circumstance dictates taking this action. I am most concerned with the capacities of not only our local hospital, but the hospitals in the region," Zavodny said. "I have consulted with Four Corners Health Department and the Butler County Health Care Center, in addition to reading the warnings from the Nebraska Medical Center. I acknowledge that this action may be too little too late. My foremost concern continues to be having adequate staffing available.
"I know that there are passionate people on both sides of the mask versus no mask issue. There are people that will applaud this decision and those that will condemn it. We are at a crucial time. We must do everything we can to make every attempt to limit the strain on our health care system. I have always maintained that l am an advocate of less government in our lives. I understand that some will view my decision as antithetical to that position. There is no clean way to balance constitutional rights and health considerations during a global pandemic. Gov. Ricketts relies on input from a variety of sources and the decision on my part is in no way a judgment on the actions that the Governor has taken. I felt that Spencer’s Order was the best way to address the current crisis, in conjunction with keeping groups small, washing hands, maintaining six feet of distance between people, and limiting community access to essential activities such as grocery shopping to the extent possible.
"I stand with other cities in Nebraska that have taken the step of mask mandates as a tool to protect their citizens, especially the most vulnerable. Spencer’s Order does not contain any punishments or enforcement in its current form. I do not have the authority to levy punishment through an executive order, nor should I. I decided to take this step that is allowed by the authority of the office of mayor. The bottom line is that people cannot be forced to comply. This order shall remain in effect for no more than 90 days and hopefully will help bridge the gap between now and the availability of a vaccine.”
Zavodny went on to express concern about the upcoming holidays, and the inherent risks that they represent. We want you to be able to celebrate but this year it will be important to keep your gatherings small and limit them to immediate family.
Mayor Zavodny said he agrees with Don Naiberk, the CEO of the Butler County Health Care Center, that if we can decrease the need for hospitalizations by 5 to 10% in addition to a few other strategies available; it will be enough to avert a situation where our hospital would need to turn away patients because it is at its capacity.
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