Columbia mayor declares state of emergency

Columbia mayor declares state of emergency

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - On Monday, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin has declared a state of emergency.

The declaration comes on the heels of the South Carolina Department of Environmental and Health Control announcing five new COVID-19 cases being investigated in the state.

Mayor Benjamin made the declaration in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. An ordinance will be sent to Columbia City Council to be reviewed and discussed in Tuesday’s meeting.

The ordinance temporarily postpones permits for both public and private events, festivals and other private events that would be held on property owned by the city or city-owned property operated by another party.

The ordinance also restricts occupancy for customers in businesses to no more than six people per table with a distance of six feet between tables with the facility holding no more than half of the designated legal capacity deemed by the Fire Marshal. Patrons would also be encouraged to use takeout, drive-thru, and other delivery options.

The ordinance also gives Mayor Benjamin and councilmembers the power to set a curfew in case the recommendations of social distancing are not met.

The emergency order takes effect immediately. However, council will review the ordinance and have an opportunity to vote in support of the mayor’s decision tomorrow.

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