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MANNING – Clarendon County officials passed a resolution Thursday morning asking individuals to wear face coverings in retail and food service establishments.
Clarendon County Council Chairman Dwight Stewart Jr. and Council members A.C. English, the Rev. W.J. Frierson and Benton Blakely voted to pass the resolution. Councilman Billy Frierson wasn’t present at the meeting.
“The resolution strongly recommends and encourages individuals to wear masks,” County Administrator David Epperson said. “This is not a mandate. A mandate would need to come in the form of an ordinance.”
Epperson said the resolution does not include fines.
“We are approaching this from an educational point,” Epperson added.
Stewart asked Manning City Administrator Scott Tanner, who was present at Thursday’s county meeting, how the face covering ordinance was working in Manning, which went into effect Monday, July 13.
"It has had an impact,” Tanner replied. “Most people are complying.”
Tanner said that as of Thursday morning that no fines had been issued.
“Several businesses have had a few questions,” Tanner added. “We feel that the ordinance has had an impact.”Epperson told Stewart and council members that if they feel an ordinance is needed, they can come back and enact an emergency ordinance.
In addition to Manning, the cities of Sumter and Bishopville have mask ordinances, and they are all similar in requirements but vary in penalty for noncompliance.
Below is a copy of the resolution.STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA EMERGENCY RESOLUTION (COUNTY OF CLARENDON) RECOMMENDING INDIVIDUALS WEAR FACE COVERINGS IN RETAIL AND FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTSWHEREAS, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) is a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death by the SARS¬CoV-2 virus;
WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared that the COVID 19 outbreak in the United States constitutes a national emergency;
WHEREAS, also on March 13, 2020, the Governor of the State of South Carolina issued Executive Order 2020-08, declaring a State of Emergency based on a determination that the COVID 19 poses an actual or imminent public health emergency for the State;
WHEREAS, the Governor has subsequently declared a continued State of Emergency in Executive Orders 2020-15 (March 28), 2020-23 (April 12), 2020-29 (April 27), 2020-35 (May 12), 2020-38 (May 27), 2020-40 (June 11); and 2020-42 (June 26, 2020);
WHEREAS, health authorities, including the CDC, the Surgeon General of the United States, and DHEC have recommended the use of face coverings as a means of preventing the spread of COVID-19; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that it is strongly recommended and encouraged by the County Council of the Clarendon County, South Carolina as follows:
DONE, RATIFIED, AND ADOPTED BY THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF CLARENDON COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA, ON THIS 16 DAY OF JULY 2020.
*Editor's note: Sharron Haley works at a county-owned building.
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