Folly Beach business owners, city leaders encourage wearing of masks as mandate takes effect

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FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – Masks or face coverings are officially required in the City of Folly Beach. The ordinance took effect at 12pm Tuesday requiring masks to be worn in most locations across the island.

Some business owners and city leaders are encouraging the wearing of masks as required by the mandate. Business owners say they want the island to feel safe for visitors and residents, Mayor Tim Goodwin says everyone plays a role in the safety of those on the island.

“We have to do the right thing and if wearing masks is going to help us stop the spread and the spike here in Charleston than I’m all for it,” says owner of Loggerhead’s Beach Grill on Folly Beach Ed Iames.

“Got to do what I got to do to keep the island open.” says Charlie, owner of Cosmic Charlies.

The mask ordinance passed by city council on Monday requires masks in indoor public buildings, in public outdoor settings and where social distancing isn’t possible. Iames says today has been about educating customers.

“They’re really unaware that it even exists so we’re putting signage up at this point,” says Iames. “We’re talking with folks and it’ll pretty much be zero tolerance today.”

Other business owners like Charlie who owns Cosmic Charlies on the island believes masks should be worn out of respect for others.

“If wearing a mask is going to make somebody feel comfortable than I think you should wear a mask,” says Charlie. “At the very least I think you should have a mask with you.”

With questions looming regarding enforcement of the mandate, Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin says public safety and code enforcement officers will be patrolling streets.

“We will ask you to comply and if you comply good, if you don’t comply than they can write you a ticket for $100,” says Goodwin.

The City of Folly Beach will also require all city employees to be tested for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

“We’re just doing everything we can to keep our employees safe, and as I keep saying over and over, not just my employees but everybody,” says Goodwin. “It’s your personal responsibility.”

And while maybe inconvenient, Cosmic Charlie says it’s vital to keep businesses operating.

“This is Folly Beach you know, this is our shot to make money for the whole year,” says Charlie.

Folly Beach Mayor Goodwin says the city is testing all employees on Wednesday after an employee tested positive last week. City officials say they are taking every precaution to keep the city’s small staff safe and healthy.

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