CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – As new COVID-19 cases surge across the state, several municipalities have passed measures to require face masks or covering to help slow the spread of the virus.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 1,320 confirmed cases on Monday, bringing the statewide total to 34,546. Of which, 278 cases were reported in Charleston County, 41 were reported in Berkeley County, and 49 were reported in Dorchester County.
With the recent spike in cases, cities across the Lowcountry are now requiring facial coverings to protect against the spread of the virus. Leaders believe doing so will help prevent another shut down with many businesses already struggling from a statewide shutdown earlier this year.
The City of Charleston’s mask mandate will go into effect Wednesday. People will be required to wear a mask or face covering in all public areas or face a $50 fine.
You must also wear a mask beginning Wednesday in the Town of Summerville. Town Council unanimously passed the measure on Monday that will require people to wear face coverings in retail stores and restaurants.
Colleton County and Walterboro will also require face masks this week. They will be required in public places and buildings like restaurants, retail stores, salons, grocery stores and pharmacies.
Face coverings are not required for anyone under the age of 2 or if it’s not safe due to a medical issue. Violators will face a $25 fine.
If you’re in the Town of Mount Pleasant, you’ll also have to wear a face mask beginning Wednesday. grocery stores, pharmacies, and town buildings or indoor facilities. Failure to comply with the ordinance would result in a fine of no more than $25 dollars.
That vote passed 6-2 with one council member being absent.
Beginning Tuesday at noon, you must wear a face mask inside and outside public spaces on Folly Beach.
You must wear a mask when entering a restaurant. Once you are seated, you can take it off.
There are exceptions for children under the age of three and for those with pre-existing conditions or disabilities. You also do not have to wear one in your own vehicle.
Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin says business must enforce the mask mandate. You do not have to wear masks on the beach when you are able to keep at least six feet away from others.
Mask ordinances also passed on both Kiawah Island and Edisto Beach.
On Kiawah, you must wear a mask when entering or waiting to enter a restaurant, including when waiting for take-out and to be seated. You are allowed to take a mask off once you are seated for food or beverage service. The ordinance goes into effect at noon on Wednesday.
Edisto’s mask requirement begins Wednesday at 6:00 a.m. You must always wear masks in businesses and restaurants except when you are drinking, eating, or smoking.
You do not have to wear a face covering if it is against your religious beliefs or you are ten years old or younger.
Seabrook island town council plans to discuss a mask ordinance on Tuesday. If approved, they would be required in all businesses.
The City of North Charleston does not have a mask mandate; however, they will be distributing face masks at several retail locations and will educate the community on the importance of wearing their mask.
“We’re not about punishing people, we’re about making sure people are aware of what they need to do and working with them to accomplish that,” said North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey during a press conference on Monday.
He said the city purchased roughly 13,000 disposable masks that they will be distributing and are in the process of locating more. Click here to see a list of those distribution locations.
Goose Creek City Council failed to pass a face mask ordinance. Some councilmembers said they needed more time to research the effectiveness of face coverings.
Sullivan’s Island Town Council will meet to discuss a face mask requirement on Wednesday.
Hilton Head Island and City of Beaufort also passed face mask ordinances on Monday.