MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Mount Pleasant’s mayor has extended the town’s existing mask ordinance for another 60 days.
Mayor Will Haynie said the proclamation will become effective on November 15 at 12:01 a.m. The town’s existing mask ordinance was set to expire on Monday.
Haynie said extending the ordinance would get the town through the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
“I’m all for getting together for Thanksgiving in a COVID-minded way,” he said. “We have to keep in mind the most vulnerable.”
The ordinance states that all people entering a grocery store, pharmacy, or town owned or operated building must wear a face mask while inside the establishment. For the purpose of the ordinance, the term grocery store means a retail establishment that primarily sells food, but may also sell other convenience and household goods.
People failing to comply with this portion of the ordinance could face a fine of $25.
In addition, all restaurants, retail stores, salons, barber shops, grocery stores, pharmacies and town buildings must require employees to wear a face covering at all times while having face to face interaction with the public or other employees.
A person failing to comply with this portion of the ordinance could face a fine of $100.
“After consulting with our legal counsel, going over Executive Orders from the Governor, getting feedback from Council members, studying the latest Covid-19 data from MUSC, and in keeping with the actions of other local governments in our region to keep our citizens and our economy healthy, I feel the best, most flexible way to extend the face covering measures enacted by our Council is to use a proclamation in compliance with Chapter 41 of town code,” Haynie said on Friday. “This proclamation contains the same regulations that were passed by Council on three recent votes. The upcoming holidays bring increased risks of exposure and this 60-day extension gets us through the holidays.”
Exemptions include anyone unable to safely wear a face covering due to age or a health condition, children under 12 years old, and emergency responders where wearing a mask is not practical when engaged in a public safety matter of an emergency nature.
Haynie described not taking precautions against COVID-19 as playing “Russian Roulette.”
“You know, I have some friends who have had this and had no symptoms,” Haynie said. “I have one friend who had this and died and died early on, and I have one friend who spent 10 days in ICU on a ventilator. So that’s why I mentioned it’s like Russian Roulette. Some people will get it and hardly ever note know it and wonder why they tested positive, and others think they might be at the end of their life. So, why take that chance? We value life. Life is sacred. So, gather as families but take every precaution so that it is a joyous occasion and there’s no regrets later.”
Haynie said he understands people have “COVID fatigue,” because of the daily reports about new cases and deaths.
“We need to remind everybody that after the Memorial Day weekend going way back to the beginning of the summer, we had a big spike in July, and without any further restrictions from the state or local government, our restaurants and hotels saw their business really drop,” he said. “And it just behooves us all to mind this advice about wearing masks, social distance, wash hands, don’t congregate in large groups, because we’re trying to keep our people and our economy healthy.”