‘We’re not flinging the doors open:’ Mt. Pleasant mayor outlines town’s reopening plans

Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie holds a news conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss the...
Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie holds a news conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss the town's path to reopening.(Live 5)
Updated: Apr. 21, 2020 at 1:01 PM EDT
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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie held a news conference Tuesday morning to detail the town’s strategy in reopening businesses.

“It’s been hard on all of us,” Haynie said. “This is unlike anything that any of us have been through before. And we’ve been through it together. We are still in it together and we’re going to come out of it together.”

Haynie said the town will follow Gov. Henry McMaster’s decision announced Monday to allow some businesses to reopen, but urged business owners to take their employees’ health concerns into account as they begin reopening.

Haynie and Police chief Carl Ritchie said it will be up to the store operators to make sure shoppers are following social distancing and other rules.

“I don’t like using the word enforce. We’re partners in this town," Ritchie said. "We’re partners with our businesses and we have great community relationships and we’re gonna continue to work with them through education, encouraging them to follow the rules.”

Haynie said he has real concerns with clothing stores and the possibility of people trying on clothes and putting them back on the rack.

“I don’t think that’s something you ought to do. I think you ought to know what you’re getting and get it and leave,” he said.

He said Mount Pleasant Police and Fire departments will meet with businesses to notify them of the maximum numbers of customers to be allowed at one time.

“We’re not flinging the doors open, it’s not spring break, and it’s not time to flock and browse and shop,” Haynie said.

The town’s “Stay at Home” order and the ban on short-term rentals remain in effect.

Haynie said the town-owned piers and docks, including Waterfront Park and the Shem Creek walking dock, will not immediately reopen.

Haynie said there are approximately 100 COVID-19 cases in Mount Pleasant and said the numbers show the curve is flattening. He said he was glad Mount Pleasant was a week ahead of the state on issuing a “Stay at Home” order, but urged caution and social distancing as stores begin to reopen.

“And remember as the governor said, as the state can do and as the town can do if there’s wanton disregard for safety in this, these things can be walked back but we certainly don’t want to have to do that,” Haynie said.

Richie said so far only one citation has been handed out to someone who trespassed at at a hospital. In Ritchie’s words, “the offender knew they deserved it.”

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