FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — Florence City Council voted 5-2 on Monday to enact a mask mandate for businesses within city limits.
The ordinance will remain in place for 60 days. The ordinance does not apply to schools or daycares.
William Schofield and Bryan Braddock voted against the mandate.
“COVID is immune to mandates,” Braddock said. “We can put this mandate in place. We’re just going to stress our business owners. We’re going to stress our already depleted and stressed out police force.”
Members voted to enact the mandate because the county’s vaccination rates have not reached 70% like discussed in the Vaccinate Florence campaign in October. The county’s vaccination rate currently sits at 52.2% of all eligible people ages 5 and older.
“When you go to the supermarket, you see more people without a mask than with the mask,” councilwoman Pat Gibson-Hye Moore said. “It’s not that I personally want to hurt anyone or tell them what they need to do, but if we won’t do it ourselves — if we won’t do what’s right, then we have to put something in place to make people do it.”
Council took up the matter in December but ultimately voted to defer to a later time. The discussion to bring back a mask mandate started in October.