City of Charleston to vote on mask mandate, MUSC recommends saving mandate for future use

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – On Tuesday, the City of Charleston’s City Council met to discuss the current rate of COVID-19 cases here in the Lowcountry and a potential mask mandate. Those at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) say that we have hit our peak in the Tri-county and just in the past 7 days have seen a 35% decrease in cases. 

The Charleston Area’s COVID-19 Impact status changing Tuesday from ‘severe’ down to ‘significant’. 

Dr. Michael Sweat the Director of MUSC’s Center for Global Health says that on September 1st, the Lowcountry started to see declines and they’ve been quite substantial. As of Tuesday, the Tri-County at 47 cases per 100,000, Dr. Sweat calling the decline a “really a great thing”. 

However, Dr. Sweat says he doesn’t want anyone to get the wrong impression as 47 cases per day is still pretty high. While he anticipates the decline in cases will continue, there’s still a chance that the Delta Variant continues its reign. As similar to other areas, Dr. Sweat says his concern is that the case rate could flatten out and could lead to cases going back up. 

That risk he says comes with the cooler weather accompanied by the continuation of a cycle where guards and safety precautions are let down following the decrease in cases.

We are not asking people to storm the beaches of Normandy for our greater good, we are asking people to wear a mask. 

Dr. Michael Sweat, Director MUSC Center for Global Health 

The ask to wear a face-covering in the City of Charleston is currently a potential mandate, one that Dr. Sweat says would have been more helpful weeks while the Lowcountry was at its peak. Now, he hopes the City of Charleston can save the mandate for emergency use.

Dr. Sweat says, “mask mandates have a place and if you overuse them—it’s like when you fire that weapon too many times it has less impact…we may need that later in the winter when I think we are likely to have very well another big spike in the winter like we did last year”.

The City of Charleston’s City Council is expected to vote on the mandate on Tuesday night.

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