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Fans react to mask mandate for University of South Carolina football games

The ordinance lasts through at least early October and people who don’t mask up in required...
The ordinance lasts through at least early October and people who don’t mask up in required situations could face a fine of up to $100. Some fans question how strictly the rule will be enforced.(WIS)
Published: Sep. 26, 2021 at 12:39 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Saturday marked the first University of South Carolina home game in which the City of Columbia’s temporary mask ordinance required guests to wear masks inside the stadium or in other outdoor situations where social distancing isn’t possible.

The ordinance lasts through at least early October and people who don’t mask up in required situations could face a fine of up to $100. Some fans question how strictly the rule will be enforced.

“I think it’s just kind of hard for them to control a student body of 40,000 kids,” said UofSC senior Lauren Kirk.

Others say the fine doesn’t change their mind about not wanting to wear a mask.

“I don’t like them. I don’t like how they feel,” said one fan.

For the City of Columbia’s ordinance, Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins says he hopes everyone chooses to follow the temporary mandate, so fire marshals won’t have to issue fines.

“Now I’m not naive to believe that we’re not going to end up writing citations, but that’s the last thing we want to do is write a citation,” said Chief Jenkins.

University senior Kennedy Perlis says enforcement is an all-or-nothing deal.

“If we as a community are going to enforce these policies about masks, we need to do it to the full extent,” said Perlis.

Fans who plan to follow the mask ordinance hope others will do the same.

“It’s not that hard to wear a mask and you know, even if you don’t believe in it yourself, if other people feel safer and won’t complain, then you should wear a mask,” said Kirk.

According to the City of Columbia’s ordinance, masks are required in the following situations:

  • All public places within the City
  • Inside commercial establishments or establishments open to the public in the City
  • In situations where distances between people often change such as a busy sidewalk, waiting area, or popular outdoor area where it is impractical or impossible to maintain six feet of distance from others at all times

The City’s mask ordinance expires on October 11.

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