Greenville Mayor Knox White urges residents to adhere to social distancing guidelines


GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – Greenville Mayor Knox White and other local leaders urged citizens to adhere to social distancing guidelines during a joint media briefing at the Greenville Convention Center.

COVID-19 cases are on the rise across South Carolina, but there has been a sharper increase in Greenville County in June compared to other counties in the state.

“We know people are not social distancing as they should. I am guilty myself of not social distancing as I should. That’s a very prevalent situation. It is not unique to Greenville,” said Mayor White.

Some of the latest data from state officials shows over a third of new cases in Greenville have self-reported as Hispanic, while Hispanic residents only make up about 9 percent of Greenville’s population.

Dr. Wendell James, Chief Clinical Officer with Prisma Health Upstate, said “This is not fiction. We are not here trying to tell you something that is not true. We absolutely believe this is something that we are going to be able to manage through but we have to do it as partners.”

On Wednesday, State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said she is more concerned about COVID-19 in South Carolina than ever before.

The mayor was joined by Dr. Eric Ossmann of Prisma Health, Dr. Marcus Blackstone of Bon Secours St. Francis Health System and Dr. Brannon Traxler of DHEC, Greenville County Councilman Ennis Fant, Adela Mendoza of the Hispanic Alliance and Jessica Stumpf of Greenville County Emergency Management.

“There are lots of activities going on, not only the protests but there are behaviors in lots of communities where people do not appear to be adhering to, or paying attention to social distancing,” she said.

After urging people across South Carolina to wear face masks and practice social distancing, Governor McMaster said he does not plan to make masks mandatory and does not plan to close any more businesses.

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