The Town of Bluffton’s emergency ordinance which required face coverings in certain situations was not renewed at Tuesday’s meeting of Town Council. This means that as of 12:00 noon on April 14, this emergency ordinance is no longer in effect.
Though the wearing of face coverings is no longer mandated by ordinance in the Town of Bluffton, the State of South Carolina remains under a State of Emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic as declared by Governor Henry McMaster in his latest Executive Order issued on April 7, 2021. This order extends provisions in a previous Executive Order in which the Governor encourages all individuals within South Carolina to wear a face covering in public settings where it is not feasible to socially distance. This guidance remains consistent with Centers for Disease Control recommendations.
“Whether to wear or not wear a mask in Town-limits is now an individual’s choice,” Mayor Lisa Sulka said. “However, we recognize there are still many who will prefer to wear their mask and we hope that individual choices will be respected by all.
“While we all are experiencing pandemic-fatigue to some extent, the virus is still circulating, and we expect people to wash their hands several times a day and socially distance.”
The Centers for Disease Control still recommends wearing a mask for effective infection control, which covers your nose and mouth and can contain the wearer’s respiratory droplets. Masks are not recommended for children under age two nor for anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to remove their mask without assistance.
Businesses within town limits remain within their rights to require face coverings if they so choose. Non-compliance may result in refusal of service. If businesses choose to require face-covering for their employees and/or patrons, those notices should be posted in a conspicuous place, such as the front door, so patrons are warned before they enter the business.
If businesses need guidance understanding the parameters of the ordinance expiration, please contact the Town of Bluffton’s Emergency Manager Lee Levesque at (Email): firstname.lastname@example.org.
If businesses need assistance with customers who are not complying with their posted face-covering rules, please call Non-Emergency Beaufort County Dispatch at 843.524.2777 or 9-1-1.