SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Over the summer, cities across the Upstate responded to the coronavirus pandemic by passing mask ordinances to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Law enforcement and city leaders said citizens have responded to the mask requirements fairly well so far.
The cities of Spartanburg, Greenville, Travelers Rest and Gaffney said they’ve given out zero citations since the emergency mask ordinances first went into effect.
Each city has their own approach, including the Clemson City Police Department who has issued over 200 citations in an effort to crack down on residents who refuse to comply with the mask ordinance.
Ben Ford, police chief at the Travelers Rest Police Department, said his team is choosing to educate citizens in lieu of punishing them for not wearing a mask in public. This is an approach many other cities in the Upstate are leaning towards, and the mayor of Travelers Rest agrees.
“The police departments have other things that they need to be worried about versus asking someone to put on a mask. They’ve done a great job funneling requests and all of our residents have been very respectful of each other,” Brandy Amidon, Mayor of Travelers Rest, said.
Greenville and Spartanburg extended their original mandates to December 31. They were established in June and set to expire this month. Travelers Rest’s emergency mask ordinance is expected to expire on November 15 and city council plans to vote to extend it.
In October, the City of Clemson voted to extend their ordinance another 60 days, which became effective starting Oct. 23.