FOREST ACRES, S.C. (WIS) - Officials with the City of Forest Acres issued a statement saying Columbia’s recently issued stay-at-home ordinance does not apply within its boundaries.
Forest Acres City Council said it is researching a similar ordinance and will hold an emergency meeting Monday, March 30 at 9 a.m. to discuss it.
Columbia’s “Stay Home Stay Home” ordinance goes into effect Sunday, closing non-essential businesses and restricting residents’ travel.
Businesses in Forest Acres will not have to comply with that ordinance.
“Rest assured the City has taken steps to prepare City staff and resources for this emergency and City Council has instructed the Forest Acres Police Department to fully cooperate in complying with Governor McMaster’s Executive Order No. 2020-13,” Councilman Thomas Andrews said. “We would further encourage and implore all residents to remain at home as much as possible during this time.”
The executive order mentioned by the councilman allows law enforcement to break up groups of three or more people in public if they deem there is a threat to public health.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson issued an opinion Friday saying he believes the governor is the only one who can use emergency powers to issue a stay-at-home order like the one passed in Columbia.
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin responded, saying the city council’s actions are within their authority.
Since no legal challenge has been presented at this time, Columbia’s stay-at-home ordinance will go into effect as planned Sunday.