Richland County Council adopted an emergency mask ordinance that goes into effect Monday and requires residents to wear face coverings while in public to help stem the spread of COVID-19.
The vote came during a special called Thursday night meeting to discuss the emergency ordinance.
Some Councilmembers previously requested public feedback to determine whether the County should pursue a mask ordinance. The ordinance is based on guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends face coverings for most people age 2 and older.
To gather feedback, Richland County issued an online poll June 22 and asked residents to weigh in on a possible ordinance. The County also gathered feedback by phone, email and social media.
As of Thursday afternoon, the online poll had drawn nearly 19,000 responses, with 65.8% voting in favor for a mask requirement, 33.3% voting against a mask requirement and 1% having no opinion.
Several South Carolina municipalities, including the cities of Columbia, Forest Acres and the town Lexington, have passed ordinances requiring the wearing of masks in public. S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson has stated that it is legal for local governments to pass this type of ordinance.
To view the ordinance, click here.