AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken’s city-wide face mask ordinance is now in effect. The emergency ruling will last 61 days.
Earlier this week, the Aiken City Council voted 5-2 approving the emergency face mask ordinance. You don’t have to wear a face mask everywhere you go in Aiken but you do in enclosed spaces.
“I actually like it. I prefer it because I believe it’s a way that we can all show kindness to each other,” said Natlie Suber.
It’s not hard to find people in Aiken who are on board with the ordinance.
Debbie Black said, “I like to make a fashion statement with my mask. However, I think if it’s the slightest possibility it’s going help curb this disease, it’s what we need to be doing.”
“We need to do whatever we can to get over the pandemic so we can restart the economy. I think that most experts say it’s helpful so I’m inclined to believe them,” added Jeffery Rovenpor.
But others feel differently about required face coverings.
“I can see the good in it and I can see people’s resolve not trying to wear them. It’s kind of a flawed system,” said Jeremy Tindell.
You must wear a face mask in retail shops and food-service establishments. If you refuse at a business and the police are called, and you still don’t comply, you could face a fine of up to $1,000 or more or 30 days in jail.
“We have laws about smoking, we have laws about drinking, we have a long history of laws related to public health, this is no different,” said Rovenpor.
Black added, “There’s people that have authority issues and we don’t mind wearing a seat belt, most of us.”
You don’t have to wear a mask if you have a medical condition, are outside– keeping a social distance from others or are in a place where it’s not feasible to wear a mask, like a beauty salon. You can also be exempt for religious beliefs.
“I’m not against the ordinance. I’m for one that makes more practical sense. I mean, if you’re out eating, you’re going to be sitting there with no mask on. So, you know, walking to the table with a mask on, sitting down and taking off. And then, from that point on it’s just as the same as the 10, 15 foot you walked into the restaurant,” said Tindell.
Black said, “There’s the non-believers that are not going to participate in anything because they are not sure and we’re not sure.”
“Even if it’s not helpful, I’d rather not take the chance. I would want to look back on a few years from now and say we did all we can,” said Rovenpor.
Suber added, “Prayerfully, others are willing to protect others the same way as long as it takes until this virus is gone and can all get back to normal because I’m for one is ready for some football.”
The emergency face mask ordninace will expire on September 16.
To learn more about it, click or tap here.