Beaufort to ‘strongly encourage’ wearing of masks


From staff reports

Though the City of Beaufort’s mandatory mask/face covering ordinance, implemented last year to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, expired at 11:59 p.m. April 30, the City Council passed an emergency ordinance last week strongly encouraging individuals to continue to wear masks in buildings opened to the public going forward.

The ordinance was passed at the Tuesday, April 27 meeting.

The City continues to seek guidance from doctors and leadership at Beaufort Memorial Hospital as it modifies its emergency ordinances related to Covid-19. Vaccines are readily available in Beaufort County for anyone 16 years old or above, and the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control estimates that 48 percetn of Beaufort County residents (in that age range) have received at least one vaccine. The number of new cases of Covid in the county has also dropped significantly.

The new ordinance specifies that restaurants and retail establishments can continue to require their employees to wear masks. Business owners can also set their own policies requiring customers to wear masks.

The City of Beaufort will continue to require members of the public to wear masks when coming to City Hall, the Police Department, or other City buildings. Municipal Court is also requiring masks.

Beaufort County, the Town of Port Royal and the Town of Bluffton no longer have a mandatory mask mandate.

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