NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The City of North Charleston is not considering a ‘stay at home’ order unless issued by the governor’s office.
During a briefing outside North Charleston City Hall on Tuesday, Mayor Keith Summey said the city will be going by the direction given by the state every day.
He believes people are complying very well with the social distancing guidelines and said if they do not comply, “we will deal with it accordingly.”
Mayor Summey said the police department has done an outstanding job making sure those rules and regulations set forth by the state are being followed.
North Charleston Police Chief Reggie Burgess said officers are trying to inform the community about the state’s guidelines as much as possible.
Chief Burgess said he wants to visit all assisted living faculties in North Charleston to provide information to a vulnerable population who may need it and said resource officers will go to the facilities with a form that will have the officer’s name, badge number, and contact information.
“Our citizens are being encouraged by the mayor to call if they see anything suspicious,” he said. “At this point in time, we haven’t arrested or cited anyone who has gone against the governor’s social gathering orders. We simply talk to them and explain what is best for them at this time.”
Meanwhile, Mayor Summey said the city is working with the North Charleston Fire Department to make sure people are not overcrowding public spaces like grocery stores and essential services.
For now, businesses that are considered essential can operate and said the city was coming up with suggestions for some of the larger businesses regarding separation and
“We’re asking business to reduce occupancy ratings and keep it at less than 50 percent of normal occupancy ratings,” said North Charleston Fire Chief Greg Bulanow. “This allows shoppers to conform to social distancing regulations.”
Those recommendations will be available online. He wants people to follow these recommendations, so it doesn’t have to be enforced in an ordinance.
“We have been working diligently,” said Mayor Summey. “Most of our businesses are complying with the rules and regulations that have been established.”
The Mayor said each municipality was unique, but said North Charleston is probably the most unique in the state because it is a passthrough city where both I-526 and I-26 pass through it.
“A lot of people working in the medical professions in downtown Charleston do not live downtown Charleston,” he said. “So, they rely on coming through us to get to work to provide healthcare all over the area.”
He said they are following guidelines that the state has given them because of the major thoroughfares.
“We do not have a true downtown like a lot of cities that we have in the area,” he said. “We have clusters of shopping, we have shopping all along Rivers Avenue, but not in large amounts except when you get to the mall – we have the development that has occurred in the old village, but most of those are food service industry people that are only taking deliveries and are allowing people to come by and pick up orders. So, we feel that our people are complying.”
If any such order is issued by Governor McMaster, Summey says the City of North Charleston will comply with those guidelines.