CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – This evening, the Charleston City Council passed an emergency ordinance in hopes of combating COVID-19.

The Stay At Home Ordinance was first introduced this afternoon by Mayor John Tecklenburg.

According to the ordinance, citizens are now authorized not to leave their homes, however, there are exceptions.

Essential trips such as a trip to the grocery store or to the pharmacy will still be allowed.

Non-essential businesses will be asked to close their doors for the time being.

These businesses exclude emergency services, banks, restaurants, and infrastructure.

Parks and playgrounds will also be temporarily closed to prevent the spread of the virus.

Tonight, council members weighed the pros and cons of this decision during a virtual meeting.

After some discussion, they decided to pass the motion and approve the ordinance.

For two weeks, the city will follow these new rules and they are asking citizens to self-enforce them as well.