Hartsville ‘encourages’ face-mask use
By Samantha Lyles
Hartsville City Council stopped short of requiring face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but the emergency resolution they passed on June 30 strongly encourages their use.
By a unanimous 7-0 vote, council members approved Resolution 06-20-05, “to decrease the widespread proliferation of COVID-19 among citizens of the city.”
A review of Darlington County COVID-19 case numbers reveals a sharp recent uptick in Hartsville’s 29550 ZIP code. While the city had only 19 active cases as of June 20, the July 1 report showed that Hartsville accounted for 45 of 89 active cases in the county.
The resolution directly addresses this trend by stating “if COVID-19 continues to spread in the city and surrounding areas at its current rate, the number of persons relying on medical, pharmaceutical and general cleaning supplies will increase, absenteeism will negatively impact the private and public sector work force, and the demand for medical facilities may exceed locally available resources.”
It goes on to name a number of circumstances where the use of a face mask or other face covering would be helpful to stop the spread.
“The use of a face covering is encouraged by every person within the boundaries of the city as detailed below. Every person is encouraged to wear face covering at all times when:
“(1) Inside any building which is open to the public; (2) waiting to enter any building which open to the public; (3) interacting with other people in outdoor spaces, including but not limited to curbside, pickup, delivery and service calls; (4) engaging in business activities in public, commercial or industrial spaces; (5) utilizing public or commercial transportation services; or (6) walking or operating in any public, commercial or industrial area where maintaining a distance of 6 feet between other persons at all times is not possible.
“(B) These circumstances do not include when a person is: (1) traveling in a private vehicle; (2) alone in an enclosed space or able maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet from other persons at all times; (3) outdoors and able maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet from other persons at all times; (4) alone or only with other household members; (5) drinking, eating or smoking (where smoking is permitted); (6) inside a private residence, including curtilage thereof; or (7) complying with a request of law enforcement.”
The resolution will remain in effect for two months from the date of passage, meaning it will automatically expire at the end of August.