At a regular meeting held on August 11, 2020, City of Hartsville City Council passed an ordinance to require the use of face coverings in public areas of Hartsville beginning August 12, 2020 at 12 p.m. City Council made this determination based on the recommendations of public health experts and the Governor’s officer in response to the health threat associated with COVID-19.
The ordinance outlines circumstances in which citizens are required to wear a face mask including:
- All customers are required to wear face coverings while inside the enclosed area of any retail establishment, foodservice establishment, or city owned buildings.
- All retail establishments shall require staff to wear face coverings while working in areas open to the general public and at all times in which social distancing with other staff is not possible.
- All foodservice establishments shall require staff who interact with customers (including delivery personnel) to wear face coverings while working.
The ordinance outlines specific exemptions in which face coverings are not required:
- In outdoor or unenclosed areas connected to retail or foodservice establishments in which social distancing of at least six feet is possible and observed;
- For people whose religious beliefs prevent them from wearing a face covering;
- For those who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or behavioral condition;
- For children under 10 years old;
- For patrons of foodservice establishments while they are dining;
- In private, individual offices;
- When complying with directions of law enforcement officers;
- In settings where it is not practical or feasible to wear a face covering, including when exercising, obtaining or rendering goods or services such as the receipt of dental services, or while swimming; and
- While exclusively with members of a family or the same household, and no person other than such family or household is within the same enclosed are.
Any customer or employee of these establishments that is found in violation of this requirement shall be subject to a penalty of no more than $25. Establishments that are found in violation of this requirement shall be subject to a penalty of no more than $100. Each day of continuing violation shall be treated as a separate offense. This emergency ordinance has an end date of 60 days (October 11th) unless extended by City Council.
To assist the City with providing citizens with the resources they need to protect themselves, many community partners including Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center, The Byerly Foundation, and the Sonoco Foundation have donated a total of 15,000 reusable cloth masks for the citizens of Hartsville. The final mask distribution event will be held on Thursday, August 13th from 7 a.m. – noon (or while supplies last) at the Coach T.B. Thomas Sports Center, 701 W. Washington St. This will be a drive-thru event and two masks will be given per person or five per family.
City of Hartsville Public Information Officer, Lauren Baker commented, “The City of Hartsville is committed to providing a safe environment for residents and visitors alike. City Council is hopeful that by taking this step forward, we will help to keep Hartsville a safe place to live, work, and play while minimizing the spread of COVID-19.”