HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Other communities across the Grand Strand are researching the legal authority South Carolina cities have in mandating the wearing of face masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
While no decision has been made yet locally, cities like Greenville and Columbia both recently passed ordinances requiring residents to wear masks in certain businesses.
According to city spokesperson Pat Dowling, North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley asked the city attorney to look into whether face masks can be mandated while people are in public places and stores.
“The City Attorney is doing that and when he has reached an opinion, he will share it with Council,” Dowling said via email.
Previously, Mayor Brenda Bethune said she’d asked the Myrtle Beach city attorney to research possible face mask requirements.
June Wood, assistant director for the City of Conway Parks and Recreation, said city staff are consulting with state officials regarding face mask ordinances in other areas across the state.
“We are being as proactive as possible to stop the spread of COVID-19 to our citizens and visitors and hope to address face mask requirements soon,” Wood said.
Surfside Beach Town Council discussed the issue of masks at a meeting Tuesday, but did not feel it was needed.
As far as a countywide policy is concerned, Horry County Councilman Johnny Vaught said the council is leaving the decision up to the cities themselves.
“I don’t think it needs to be a countywide thing,” he said. “If they feel they need to in their city then more power to them. I don’t think we as the county itself should be influenced by that and go along just because the cities are doing it.
Horry County was recently deemed a COVID-19 hot spot due to rising cases of the novel coronavirus.