Aiken City Council approves face mask resolution, ordinance up in the air


AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – The Aiken City Council approved unanimously a face mask resolution at a special called meeting Thursday, July 2.

Some emotions ran high but all council members believe encouraging people to wear a face mask is the right thing to do.

“I’ve had five family members to die from this virus. Some of them gone much too soon,” said Councilwoman Gail Digs.

As of Thursday night, more than 760 people have died from COVID-19 in the Palmetto State. Ten people have died in Aiken County from the disease. Twenty-nine, new, positive coronavirus cases in the county were revealed.

Mayor Pro-Tempore Lessie Price asserted, “This is no game. This is serious business and people are dying. And you know, even though stats show it, there are people out there that don’t believe the numbers. There’s something sick and I’ll use the term sick about that.”

The resolution is not enforceable by law. Many cities in South Carolina are taking action for people to wear a face mask.

“There’s about 30 out there. Majority are mandating but a handful are encouraging,” said Stuart Bedenbaugh, City Manager.

Some council members would like to see a face mask ordinance.

Mayor Pro-Tempore Price said the new mask resolution is a good start and it’s sort of like a band-aid. The city council may consider an emergency mask ordinance in the future. That ordinance would last 61 days.

“This ain’t no political issue! This is about life and death, not politics,” exclaimed Councilwoman Diggs.

While the City Council is encouraging everyone to wear a mask, they also ask for people to continue practicing social distancing.

The next Aiken City Council meeting will be on July 13.

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