Mask mandate unlikely for Greenville County

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–South Carolina’s largest county remains without a mask mandate in place. This as health experts urge the wearing of masks whenever social distancing is not possible.

Although a county wide mask mandate is unlikely at this point some businesses are taking those precautions upon themselves.

Dawn Dulin manages Nourish, a natural bath products business in downtown Greenville.

“But I do have a lot of people who will come to the door and ask me if if is required for them to wear a mask. Some have told me that they’ve forgotten it,” Dulin said.

She said as a new business she can’t afford to require face coverings.

“So I’m trying to balance that, I don’t want to turn anyone away I do want to allow them in,” Dulin said.

Even so, leaders on both the city and county level are imploring businesses to take a stand on masking up.

“Science has proven, that we know wearing a mask will help this,” County Council Chairman Butch Kirven said.

Kirven said wearing a mask is crucial, especially since a county-wide mandate is unlikely to be effective.

“When you’ve got a county of over half a million people like Greenville County it’s effectively unenforceable,” Kirven said.

But he says businesses can play a big part in encouraging masks. He compares it to other health policies.

“But most businesses have no smoking policies on their premises, it’s just for their own good to help their employees and their customers. It’s the same here with employees and their customers,” Kirven said.

Greenville Chamber CEO Carlos Phillips says the vast majority of businesses they deal with are making masks mandatory.

“The healthier the community is the more effective and robust their recovery is going to be. So they businesses get it,” Phillips said.

He does recognize some businesses are concerned about losing customers. His suggestion, make sure employees are doing everything they can to keep customers safe.

“I think they’re just going to have to continue to model the behavior that they want their customers to practice,” Phillips said.

Kirven said that’s exactly what he’s urging, for everyone to set an example.

“Be a role model, be a leader, we have them all throughout our community, be a good citizen. That’s what we’re saying,” Kirven said.

The Chamber has resources for businesses which can be found here.

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