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Grand Strand leaders expected to discuss extending mask ordinances in coming weeks

Updated: Aug. 26, 2020 at 4:19 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reiterated this week that masks ordinances put in place in South Carolina municipalities are working.

“The data continues to reinforce what we’ve already known about proper wearing of masks and their success in helping to stop the spread of this deadly virus,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, a DHEC physician.

DHEC data shows that jurisdictions with face mask ordinances in place have seen a 44% drop in cases compared to cities and towns that do not have one in place.

RELATED COVERAGE | DHEC: Updated data shows communities with mask requirements seeing slower rate of COVID-19 spread

Mask ordinances in multiple Horry County municipalities were enacted just before the Fourth of July holiday, but expiration dates on those mandates are expected to end around the Labor Day weekend. Now local leaders are left to decide whether to extend those measures.

Officials with the city of North Myrtle Beach say their mask ordinance is set to expire on Monday, Aug. 31. However, city spokesperson, Pat Dowling, said “all indications are that the face-coverings ordinance will be renewed” at a meeting planned for that same day.

Horry County’s mask ordinance is set to expire this Tuesday, Sept. 1. County council is scheduled to meet that same day and a spokesperson for the county said the ordinance could be on the agenda for discussion. The county is expected to publish that agenda on Friday.

In Myrtle Beach, an executive order requiring the use of masks is set to expire on Labor Day, Sept. 7. City of Myrtle Beach spokesperson Mark Kruea said city leaders have not formally discussed an extension but it is possible.

And a spokesperson for Conway said that city’s mask ordinance is set to expire on Sept. 9, but that and the city’s declared state of emergency will both be up for consideration on the agenda for their Sept. 8 council meeting.

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