Aiken’s city-wide mask ordinance up for an extension


AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – Aiken’s emergency mask ordinance is set to expire on September 16 but city leaders are considering adding more days to the order.

Some people in town are on board with the extension but others say not so much.

“I definitely think overall cities and counties that have mask ordinances, you’ve seen their numbers go down. And if we have to wear a mask for a little bit longer to see that trend continue, we are definitely for that,” said Catherine Gouge.

Right now, you must wear a face-covering in retail shops and food-service establishments in Aiken.

Gouge said, “If a waiter comes up and asks I typically just kind of put mine over my mouth but I try to be really respectful. My rule typically is if the person working has to wear a mask, then I should wear a mask.”

You don’t have to wear a mask if you have a medical condition, are outside social distancing, in a place where wearing one isn’t feasible if or due to religious beliefs.

“The face mask ordinance has worked really well. We haven’t had a lot of people refuse to wear one or not know they’re supposed to be wearing one,” added Gouge.

Det Haislip explained, “We try to enforce what the city is wanting to do. We have enforced people to put the masks on.”

Haislip owns True Value in Aiken. He thinks wearing a mask should be up to the individual.

He said, “Not one of our employees come down with an illness or sickness. Now they do wear their masks a lot more often than I do but I think it should be an individual choice at this point. People that are prone to have it, say older people. Maybe they ought to wear a mask. Maybe they should stay home. Maybe both.”

There have been 2,464 positive COVID-19 cases in Aiken County so far. Sixty-nine people have died.

“Nobody can say for sure what the percentage of it being a deterrent or a safety device and all but I know a lot of people made a bunch of money on selling masks. And I think it’s going to go on for a time but the truth is we’re going to have inoculation for this thing before the presidential election and it’s killing the Democrats,” said Haislip.

The special called, emergency mask ordinance meeting will start at 7:00 p.m. Thursday in the Aiken City Council Chambers.

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