Myrtle Beach SC drops mask mandate except for city buildings

 Myrtle Beach SC drops mask mandate except for city buildings

Myrtle Beach no longer will require people to wear face masks in all public places, except for in government buildings and any businesses that require them, the city said Wednesday.

Both the mayor and city manager issued new orders Wednesday to address the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and urged continued caution as more than 555 Horry County residents have died of COVID-19.

“We must protect each other from the spread of this illness,” City Manager Fox Simons said in a statement. “Personal responsibility must drive our actions and choices, and for that reason we urge everyone to wear a face covering when in close proximity to others who are not in your immediate family.”

Mayor Brenda Bethune extended the civil emergency declaration for COVID-19, according to a news release. It takes effect April 1 and lasts through April 30.

Simons issued an executive order that urges people to wear masks but defers to businesses to require them. The city’s mask mandate has been in effect since early July.

“Businesses have the option of requiring masks in indoor public spaces if their staff and patrons are concerned about contracting COVID-19 from each other, and we encourage them to exercise that option,” Simons said in a statement.

The orders come as Horry County has reported 36,928 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Wednesday, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

North Myrtle Beach City Council did not extend the city’s state of emergency and no longer has a mask mandate.

Earlier this month, Charleston extended its mask requirement for public places, according to the city’s COVID-19 updates.

Greenville extended its emergency ordinances, which require customers to wear masks in retail businesses.

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