Many Florence residents, businesses follow face mask proclamation on first day

Florence residents, businesses begin following mask proclamation

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - Florence Mayor Stephen Wukela’s face mask proclamation went into effect at midnight on Monday.

The proclamation won’t have hold any penalties until it is voted on during the July 13 city council meeting, but many businesses and customers are already abiding by it.

Wukela and City Manager Randy Osterman made the decision to issue the proclamation after consulting health experts at MUSC Health Florence and McLeod Regional Medical Center.

“For the last at least three weeks, they said, ‘Look we need people to be wearing masks and we believe this is a mechanism to slow down the spread,‘” said Osterman.

Osterman said they wanted to put something in place, so businesses could go ahead and begin requiring masks before the city council vote.

Florence resident Catrina Boyd said she has underlying health conditions and she support’s the city’s decision to issue the proclamation.

“You do not know where this COVID-19 is and in my mind it’s everywhere. It’s airborne, so I’m trying to protect myself, my family, as well as other residents,” said Boyd.

A few businesses had signs on their door telling customers they’re following the proclamation and are requiring masks.

One business, Smart Phone Repair, went as far as posting every page of the proclamation on their front door.

“We are definitely wanting to keep everyone safe as much as possible in the community and we want to go along with the guidelines of the city and what they are putting out for everyone to follow, so we found it important to put that proclamation up there and highlight the most important parts of it, so people have an understanding of what’s going on,” said Retail Manager Meaghan Stevens.

Stevens said they are providing masks to customers who don’t have one, and so far they haven’t had any problems.

“That was one of my fears today, was having to argue with people about wearing their mask, but since everyone has been following the guidelines it’s been going well,” said Stevens.

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