FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD)- With COVID-19 numbers continuing to rise, state and local leaders are working to make sure restaurants are upholding the highest standards of health and safety.
In Tuesday’s press conference, Governor Henry McMaster announced a program called the Palmetto Priority Initiative; in collaboration with The SC Restaurant and Lodging Association and the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
“[We will] provide a decal to go on restaurants that have passed the test and are willing to conform to the requirements set out in the process,” says McMaster.
These requirements include a number of protocols ranging from temperature checks to paper or digital menus. In a meeting this afternoon; Folly Beach restaurant employees met to discuss ways that they can improve safety on the island.
“This is our first pandemic, right? Trying to make sure that we’re doing all the CDC guidelines, recommendations from the Governor’s office, and all the common-sense things that we can do as lifelong professionals in this business,” says Ed Iams, owner of Loggerhead’s Beach Grill.
As of now, the city of Folly Beach has not passed any ordinances requiring restaurants to adhere to these protocols. According to Mayor Goodwin, restaurant owners have taken it upon themselves to implement safety measures.
“It’s not just particularly Folly Beach, it’s everywhere you go. Whether it be Downtown Charleston, or James Island, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, Mount Pleasant; think about your personal responsibility to keep yourself and your family safe,” says Goodwin.
One of the biggest concerns specific to Folly Beach is the aspect of live music. In today’s meeting, many spoke out about the issues with concerts drawing crowds and encouraging a lack of social distancing.
“When it’s elbow-to-elbow, there’s no way you can social distance in that environment,” says an atendee about live music concerts.
Moving forward, no decisions have been made in regards to live music or requiring mask usage on the island. We will be giving updates once local restaurants receive their Palmetto Priority seals.