Manning City Council to decide on mandatory face coverings on Tuesday

Bishopville also includes discussion about coverings during its next meeting

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MANNING — Manning will decide Tuesday if city officials will require individuals to wear facial coverings.

A special called Manning City Council meeting has been scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday with just one item on the agenda: the establishment of an ordinance that would require individuals to wear “face coverings in retail and food service establishments and matters related thereto.”

“I have been focused on the daily COVID-19 numbers,” Manning Mayor Julia A. Nelson said. “As other municipalities have moved to require facial coverings, we are now reviewing whether or not that would be something that we would choose to implement in Manning. We will be discussing the matter at our meeting.”

If you’re interested in access to the meeting, call 1-872-240-3311 and use the access code: 980-883-797.

Bishopville City Council in Lee County released its agenda Monday afternoon and included a discussion of a mask ordinance as one of its agenda items. According to the agenda, the ordinance would require “face coverings in certain situations and locations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

There will also be a presentation by Anderia Wilson about community concerns related to the coronavirus.

The meeting will be held Tuesday at 5 p.m. by conference call. Call 1-800-406-8640 to attend the meeting. The bridge number is 1388. Public comments will be taken at the end of the meeting.

Last Wednesday, Sumter City Council voted during a virtual meeting to require employees and customers to wear face coverings in the city’s food and retail locations. The ordinance includes restaurants, drive-throughs and anywhere that sells food, grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, liquor stores, laundromats and any business that sells goods or services. The council will review the ordinance in at most 30 days, although it could review it earlier for adjusting or canceling.

Coronavirus cases across the state increased slightly on Monday from the day before, according to South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, with 1,505 new confirmed cases and six additional deaths because of the virus. That total included 14 cases in Sumter County and three new cases in Clarendon County. No new cases were reported in Lee County on Monday.

DHEC reported that during the holiday weekend, 3,299 new cases were confirmed across the state, with the Fourth of July seeing 1,836 cases. Sunday saw 1,463 new confirmed cases.

As of Monday, 1,260 out of 7,377 hospital beds in use across the state were occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19, according to DHEC, and the state’s hospital beds were at 69.07% capacity.

South Carolina was one of the first states to reopen after its lockdown to help prevent the spread of the virus, and Gov. Henry McMaster has resisted ordering a statewide mask mandate for residents, saying individuals need to be responsible and wear a mask when in public if social distancing isn’t possible.

“We cannot keep businesses closed forever,” McMaster said. “What it boils down to is, we must be careful individually.”