City of Greenville hosts joint media briefing on COVID-19

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The City of Greenville hosted a joint media briefing regarding COVID-19 Friday morning.

Greenville Mayor Knox White hosted the briefing alongside Chief Clinical Officers at Prisma Health Upstate and Bon Secours St. Francis Health System to address the rise of COVID-19 cases in Greenville.

The message is simple.

“The way to stop this is a mask,” Dr. Marcus Blackstone with Bon Secours

“We know what the answer is, the answer is to social distance and the answer is to wear a mask,” Mayor Knox White said.

Upstate doctors and the mayor are pleading for the public’s help.

“It’s jarring, it’s serious, it should get everyone’s attention,” White said.

Doctors from Prisma and Bon Secours say the number of coronavirus cases has increased drastically since memorial day.

“This is not a lost cause, it will be a lost cause, it will be a problem if the community does not take it seriously and start masking up,” Dr. Wendell James with Prisma said.

He said if everyone starts wearing masks all the time in public things could be under control within in a week.

“We need the community to please please help us here,” James said.

Otherwise, over the next few weeks, the Upstate’s hospital system will not have enough capacity to provide care.

“You have the responsibility of not only protecting yourself but protecting others,” Blackstone said.

A city wide mask requirement in pharmacies and grocery stores has helped, but the mayor says big box stores need to do more.

“It’s time for them to require masks as the others have done,” White said.

People in the city say they want the mayor to take action.

“There should be across the board an ordinance of some sort,” Marie Eldridge, who lives downtown, said.

Some want masks to be required in all public places.

“It should be all the time. Mandatory,” Marilyn Jones, who lives downtown, said.

But, the mayor and even doctors say it shouldn’t take a law to get people to do the right thing and mask up for everyone’s safety.

“We all have to do our part to do to stop the spread, that’s all that we are asked to do,” White said.

“We need to get the rights off the table, this is a personal responsibility to each other as community members,” James said.

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