ROCK HILL, S.C. — As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the United States and in the Carolinas, Rock Hill city leaders approved a mandatory face mask requirement for public area's within the city limits. The mandate, which passed Monday morning in a vote of 5-2, takes effect Friday, July 10.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said last week he will not require them statewide, saying such an order would be ineffective and difficult to enforce. He is encouraging people to wear masks and to follow the rules to help slow the virus.
"This is a dangerous, deadly disease," McMaster said. "You've got to follow the rules, wear your masks, keep that social distance. Wash your hands. If you're sick stay home. If you have any belief you have it get a test."
On Sunday, South Carolina health officials announced 1,463 new cases of COVID-19 and eight additional deaths linked to the virus. The state is also at an a record high for hospitalizations and has an alarming percent positive trend.
The July Fourth weekend saw huge crowds in Myrtle Beach with many people not following the city's mask mandate. Scientists have said that wearing a cloth face covering can effectively slow the spread of COVID-19 while researchers work to find a vaccine.