Myrtle Beach leaders to discuss possible mask mandate during July 2 meeting

Myrtle Beach leaders to discuss possible mask mandate during July 2 meeting

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach leaders could be one step closer to requiring face coverings in certain public places.

Right now, wearing a mask in cities and towns along the Grand Strand remains optional.

But on July 2, Myrtle Beach city councilmembers are expected to discuss a mask ordinance during a workshop.

Myrtle Beach city councilmember Gregg Smith said he thinks a mask mandate should come to Myrtle Beach.

“I think in the long run, wearing a mask to tamp the pandemic down is probably the best solution that we have right now,” Smith said.

Smith, who regularly wears a mask inside city council meetings, said right now the details are slim on what the actual mandate could look like, but they’ll know more next Thursday when council meets.

However, right now, he said he’ll support an ordinance that would place guidelines on when and where people would have to wear masks in Myrtle Beach.

“I thought that we should have done it for a while. But now that the attorney general has come out and said that we do have the authority, I think we should try and push this forward,” Smith said.

North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley said after a conference call with mayors from across the state and the Department of Health and Environmental Control, people in the city should also get ready for an ordinance too.

Still, details are limited, but Hatley said it could follow closely to what Greenville has done, focusing on wearing a mask inside of businesses.

No date has been set though on when North Myrtle Beach city councilmembers will discuss the issue.

In Conway, Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy, who’s recovering from coronavirus herself, said they were pleased to learn the attorney general said that the local mask ordinances are legal.

City of Conway spokesperson June Wood said people shouldn’t expect to see anything discussed until July 6 when council meets, and should not expect an emergency meeting to get called before then.

“It really will be up to council to decide, what they think will best serve our citizens,” Wood said. “This has been really important to her with her diagnosis that we find a way to protect our citizens.”

A spokesperson from Horry County said they are monitoring the situation but no decisions on how to move forward have been made at this time.

The mayor of Loris and the mayor of Surfside Beach both said at this time they are also not moving forward to look into mask mandates.

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