Fort Mill Town Council members held a specially-called meeting Monday and unanimously voted to require face coverings in restaurants, retail stores and service establishments with the town limits and inside all government offices.

Here is the Town’s press release:

“July 6, 2020— With the continued increase of COVID-19 rates in York County, Fort Mill Town Council approved an ordinance Monday requiring the public to wear face coverings while inside any food, retail and service establishments within Town limits and inside any Town government offices.

The ordinance, which takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 8, will require all members of the public to wear a face covering while inside establishments such as restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, commercial retail stores, and all service businesses, such as salons and barber shops. A face covering is defined in the ordinance as a uniform piece of material that securely covers a person’s nose and mouth, such as a medical or cloth mask, bandana, scarf or gaiter.

The ordinance also requires all retail and service employees to wear coverings inside their establishments when working in areas open to the general public and when making deliveries or delivering pick-up orders, though those businesses will not be required to enforce the ordinance for their customers or any member of the public.

Violators of the new ordinance will be issued a warning on their first offense, but could face a fine of between $25 and $100 on any subsequent offense. Repeated violations by any establishment could also result in suspension or revocation of occupancy permits or business license for their location.

Fort Mill Mayor Guynn Savage said the Town is following suit with other municipalities in the state that have established a face covering ordinance. She said the Town’s primary focus is on health and safety.

“While wearing a mask may not prevent the transference of this virus, all indications appear to support that wearing one does greatly reduce the opportunity to share the virus with others. Much like covering your mouth when you cough, wearing a mask in public places helps to minimize the chances for the virus to be shared between people,” Savage said.

Savage also stressed the importance of the public in following other recent COVID-19 guidelines recommended by the state and federal government in preventing the spread of the disease.

“We ask that the public also continues other means of ensuring their health and safety by washing hands, using hand sanitizer, social distancing and seeking medical advice if you experience the symptoms of COVID or are exposed to someone that has the virus,” she said.”