The City of Manning Council revisited their mandatory mask ordinance at Monday nights meeting. By the end, a resolution was established, and the ordinance was no more. This follows an executive order set forth by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster to lift the mandatory wearing of face masks in public places. While this allows people to unmask in public spaces, the lift does not affect private businesses and municipalities who still choose to require face coverings.
City Council decided to proceed in conjunction with McMasters lift, but still voted and approved a Resolution concerning face coverings.
Now, the difference between a Resolution and an Ordinance is relatively simple; an Ordinance stands as a mandate with legal consequence, and a Resolution stands as a strong suggestion.
The resolution reads as follows:
“A Resolution Encouraging Individuals To Wear Face Coverings When Social Distancing Cannot Be Observed.”
Pretty simple right? Pay attention to the language used. The ordinance passed by council requiring face coverings started with this sentence:
“An Ordinance requiring individuals to wear face coverings in retail and foodservice establishments...”
Notice the difference? Requiring and Encouraging are two very different words.
However, it is still important to note that this Resolution and even Governor McMasters Executive Order include protections for personally owned businesses.
The City of Manning Mayor, Julia Nelson, released the following statement:
“The majority of Manning Council and Mayor met April 24th and discussed the downward trend of COVID-19 cases and deaths. At this time, a decision was made to present a resolution for vote to support the wearing of masks when indoors and when social distancing isn’t possible during our regular scheduled May 2021 Council Meeting. A resolution is a simple expression of support without any penalty/fine for anyone who chooses not to follow. We often execute resolutions for events such as Fair Housing Month, meaning we support Fair Housing laws. All of this was shared in our May Newsletter.
Gov. Henry McMaster’s executive order preventing a state of emergency use for ordinances requiring the wearing of masks was announced on May 11, 2021.
Our vote last night to approve this resolution was one to acknowledge that COVID-19 is still present. The recent recommendations for when it’s safe to not wear a mask is linked to the number of individuals who have been fully vaccinated. Currently, only 34.7% South Carolinians have been fully vaccinated. Due to this fact, we advocate for the wearing of masks when certain environments may present a threat of contracting and/or spreading COVID-19.”