Kershaw County Council votes against enforcing face mask mandate

Kershaw County Council votes against enforcing face mask mandate

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - On Wednesday state health officials released new information on how face masks have helped to fight the spread of COVID-19 in our state.

That data showing that areas with face masks requirements have seen an overall decrease of more than 15% of total cases, compared to before the requirements were in place.

This just one day after Kershaw County officials decided against requiring face masks to be worn by law.

By a vote of 4-2, Kershaw County Council decided against an emergency ordinance that would require masks or face coverings by law in all unincorporated areas of the county.

“I did not go for it. I talked with a lot of people, I had some 40 to 50 people that called me and asked me not to vote for it,” said Councilman Al Bozard.

One of the main reasons councilmembers say they decided to vote against the mandate was enforceability.

"There is no sense in passing a law that you can not enforce," added Bozard.

But councilmember Tom Gardner, who prosed the ordinance, believes that dealing with enforcement is not the council’s job.

"We are elected to take care of our constituents and health and well being is part of that," said Gardner.

Although this ordinance was voted down— the council members WIS spoke with did agree that everyone should wear a mask in public places.

"I told them last night at the meeting that I would much rather wear a mask for 60 days then a ventilator for two weeks," explained Gardner.

"Wear the mask and follow the courtesy and other procedures to make it possible for us to lick this virus," said Council Chairman Julian Burns.

"Wear the mask, keep the coronavirus numbers down, but I'm not going to make it law," said Bozard.

Some Kershaw County residents seem to be on the same page

"As you go into stores and public places wear your mask. That's it," said one resident.

In July the council did pass a resolution encouraging residents to wear masks in public but there is no actual requirement with that resolution.

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