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Myrtle Beach mayor not considering reinstating mask mandate, encourages people to get vaccinated

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 4:16 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – Reinstating mask mandates at certain places in Myrtle Beach is not being considered at this time, according to Myrtle Beach’s mayor.

WMBF News asked Mayor Brenda Bethune about the possibility of leaders implementing the mask ordinance again after Savannah’s mayor reinstated the city’s mask mandate due to rising COVID-19 cases.

RELATED COVERAGE | Mask mandate reinstated in Savannah as COVID-19 cases rise again

“We are tracking the cases, we’re watching things closely, but at this time we do not plan to initiate another mask ordinance,” Bethune said.

Last year, the city of Myrtle Beach implemented a mask mandate, requiring people to wear face coverings in certain places like restaurants and retail stores. If people did not wear a mask, they could have faced a $100 fine.

While a mask mandate may not be put back into place, Bethune is encouraging people to do is get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I think this is the time to stress that people get vaccinated, take personal responsibility. And if you feel unsafe, wear a mask, if you don’t wear a mask, get vaccinated,” Bethune stated.

WMBF News also reached out to officials with Horry County, North Myrtle Beach and Conway, and asked if they are considering re-instating mask mandates.

All three said there hasn’t been any discussion about putting the ordinances back into place.

A spokesperson for Horry County said leaders are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 cases and staying in touch with state partners.

Waccamaw Primary Care Physician Dr. Winston McIver has spent the past year recommending the coronavirus vaccine to all of his patients.

He said he just had another reminder to keep encouraging it for hesitant patients.

“I had a high school classmate that passed away yesterday from COVID,” said McIver. “It’s one of those things, it is here. The pandemic has not gone away.”

McIver wasn’t too surprised to learn the city of Savannah reinstated its mask policy.

He thinks it’s only a matter of time until places in the Grand Strand will have to consider the same thing.

“If it continues on the track that it’s headed on, I think that all those things have to be revisited. I would not be surprised if some of those restrictions are put back in place to some degree,” said McIver.

Requirement or no requirement, McIver said he’s still recommending to his vaccinated patients to wear a mask when they are around large groups of people.

“There is a chance, that even if you’ve gotten the vaccine, there’s a chance you get still get COVID,” said McIver. “Not likely to be as sick, but still the possibility.”

He said vaccinated people probably don’t need to run out and get a test after being around a large group while wearing a mask, but if they experience any symptoms, then he said it would be a good idea.

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