Leaders, health professionals from City of Charleston urge wearing of masks as cases spike

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – City and health leaders from the City of Charleston are calling on Lowcountry residents to wear a mask now more than ever. 

At a Thursday afternoon press conference, leaders from the City of Charleston say the city has led the state in numbers of new COVID-19 cases over the past ten days. Health professionals say now is the time to step up and flatten the curve. 

“Not only has the virus not gone away, it is growing precipitously in the Lowcountry,” says City of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg.

City leaders and health professionals are issuing warnings ahead of what could be a busy Independence Day weekend.

“This is a category six hurricane of illness and we can’t evacuate,” says Doctor Stan Wilson, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Quality and Continuing Care at Roper St. Francis.

Doctor Danielle Scheurer, Chief Quality Officer at MUSC says the largest uptick of cases in Charleston and the surrounding county are among those under the age of forty.

“Our concern based on those numbers is that there will be a second wave or second ring of newly infected based on that younger demographic into an older demographic,” says Dr. Scheurer.

And with growing numbers of new cases comes a growing concern over necessary supplies needed for patients.

“Worry just as much about resource constraints, about do we have enough beds, do we enough vents,” says Dr. Scheurer.

City leaders and doctors agree safety measures must be followed. Dr. Wilson of Roper St. Francis says that includes strict social distancing. 

“We really want you to wear a mask, we really want you to wash your hands,” says Dr. Wilson. “We don’t want you huddling with all of your best buddies.”

Mayor Tecklenburg and Town of Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie say the responsibility falls on Lowcountry residents to follow guidelines. 

“We don’t want to have to close businesses down again, we want to keep the economy alive but to do that safely,” says Mayor Tecklenburg. “We have to be serious.”

“This virus is the enemy and everyone of you that can hear us today, you’re enlisted in this fight and we need you to join our ranks,” says Mayor Haynie.

Mayor Tecklneburg says right now there are no plans to reverse re-openings but is stressing the importance of taking safety measures to flatten the curve in order to remain open and protect the economy. 

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