As coronavirus cases rise in SC, should wearing a mask be required?

Local News

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Columbia City Council discussed a measure this week that would make wearing a mask a mandate, similarly to a move seen in Raleigh, North Carolina.

With positive cases of the coronavirus on the rise across South Carolina, should that same mask requirement be enforced in the Lowcountry?

Charleston Mayor Tecklenburg addressed the question during a press conference on Tuesday.

“I would just say that if the healthcare system becomes overwhelmed with cases, that would be the trigger that would lead us to make strict requirements again.”

This sentiment was echoed by Tracy McKee, the City’s Chief Innovation Officer.

If we don’t slow it down, we could end up in a position of stressing our hospitals. 

Tracy McKee, City’s Chief Innovation Officer 

McKee said Governor McMaster’s ‘Work or Home’ order is what helped in keeping local numbers lower. She said that the uptick has been primarily since the first of the month.  

The stay at home order really calmed things down for a couple of months but the number of cases are definitely on the rise.  

Tracy McKee, City’s Chief Innovation Officer 

According to Dr. Melissa Ellis-Yarian, a physician at Roper St. Francis Express Care, wearing masks in public is necessary for a few reasons.  

You’re wearing this in public to prevent other people from getting sick. This is going to prevent your own droplets from getting to other people. But it will not prevent you from necessarily breathing in infection from another person. But that’s why if everybody wears these—I protect you when I wear a mask, and you are protecting me when you wear one of these masks.   

Dr. Melissa Ellis-Yarian, Physician Roper St. Francis  

She went on to say that if the public listened to doctor’s calling for people to wear face-masks, there wouldn’t be this uptick and said it should be in the hands of the state leaders.  

This is a community issue at this point. This is about the people in South Carolina deciding that it’s worth it to put on a face mask to save the life of someone they don’t know or may never meet.  

Dr. Melissa Ellis-Yarian, Physician Roper St. Francis 

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