City of Charleston to focus on education when enforcing mask mandate

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Mask mandates now in effect, today the City of Charleston and Town of Mount Pleasant joined those already under strict guidelines requiring masks to be worn in most places.

Planning to come to the City of Charleston for dinner plans, shopping or even work and you don’t have a mask, you may be stopped and possibly issued a citation. City officials say with the new ordinance in effect, the goal is to keep everyone safe.

“I think it’s smart you know, just wear the mask and we’ll get through it,” says tourist Zane Lindsay.

With the mask mandate officially in effect, some say many are still following the requirement loosely.

“We have been wearing them everywhere but we’ve noticed that a lot of people aren’t but we are still sticking with the masks.”

Requiring the wearing of masks is something many have been calling for, for weeks. Dan Riccio, the Director of Livability and Tourism for the City of Charleston says day one of the ordinance has been about questions.

“Well how the city is handling our approach is to educate and bring awareness to business owners and the public,” says Riccio.

Riccio says a fact sheet on the city’s website lays out answers to many of the questions being raised. The City is also calling on it’s businesses to help educate the public.

“They need to provide signage at all entrances of their business informing the public that face masks or coverings are a requirement,” says Riccio.

Handing out citations isn’t the goal of the ordinance according to Riccio but rather working together to slow the spread of COVID-19 for an eventual return to normalcy.

“They can either ask questions and or file a complaint where they think people should be wearing masks and they are not,” says Riccio.

Lindsay says the wearing of a mask is something everyone can do to help keep numbers of new cases down.

“When you wear them, you’re protecting not only yourself but other people that may be at risk to contract the virus,” says Lindsay.

Riccio says the city is focusing on educating those unaware of the new ordinance, especially tourists who may be unaware when they arrive. The ordinance is set to last through August 26th unless terminated or extended by city council.

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