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Coronavirus

South Carolina City Requires Masks in Grocery Stores

COLUMBIA, South Carolina — A South Carolina city has voted to require people to wear masks in grocery stores and pharmacies, becoming the first in the state mandating face coverings to fight COVID-19.

The Greenville City Council passed the rule unanimously hours after placing it on the City Council’s regular agenda.

All employees in restaurants, retail stores, salons, grocery stores and pharmacies would have to wear masks. Customers in grocery stores and pharmacies would need coverings over their noses and faces. Anyone convicted of breaking the rule would be fined up to $25.

Greenville has had some of the highest COVID-19 rates in the state in recent weeks, while South Carolina has had at least 900 new COVID-19 cases each of the past five days — the only days of the pandemic with that many cases. The state is among the top five in the nation in new infections divided by population.

Mayor Knox White said the city carefully chose to only require masks in businesses that everyone has to use, whether they are trying to isolate themselves or not. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster again said Monday that he isn’t considering a statewide mask requirement because it might violate people’s rights.

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