The City of Charleston is cracking down on enforcement of masks as the number of COVID-19 cases in South Carolina stays steady.
In the city, everyone must wear a mask on any public right of way and inside establishments. This ordinance includes the entire City of Charleston including Downtown, West Ashley, James Island, Johns Island, and Daniel Island.
To enforce the mask policy, two three-man teams of livability officers will patrol areas of the city at random and write citations if needed.
The Charleston Police Department will assist in this effort.
The first offense is a $100 fine, the second offense is $200, and the third offense and any after is $500 dollars.
Since the mask ordinance was first put in place back in June, a total of 361 citations have been issued. Nearly half of those were written this month.
“We plan on continuing this effort until such time that we feel it would be safe to do so and back off a little bit,” said Dan Riccio, the Director of Livability and Tourism for the City of Charleston. “The first patrol began on January 11th and between January 11th and January 21st, 141 citations were issued”
Riccio says since the increased enforcement efforts started, most people have been compliant.