The city of Greenville has once again extended its ordinance requiring people to wear masks in businesses for two more months.
It is the fifth time Greenville City Council has issued a two-month extension since last June, when it became the first city in South Carolina to pass such a measure. State law limits emergency ordinances to two months.
The current extension, now effective through early June, means masks will have been required in this Upstate city for a year. Greenville County, which does not have a mask ordinance, has routinely led the state in numbers of COVID-19 cases since the virus was detected a year ago.
Data from the state Department of Health and Encironmental Control shows the incidence rate within the city of Greenville dropped dramatically after the mask ordinance was first enacted.
Currently, Greenville County is one of five counties in the state to have a high incidence rate, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control. The others are nearby counties Laurens, Pickens and Oconee and Dillon in the Pee Dee.
The only one of South Carolina’s 46 counties to have a low incidence rate is Calhoun. The rest are considered to have moderate rates.
Greenville has recorded one of every eight residents has had COVID-19 and one of six has had at least one dose of the vaccine, according to DHEC.
Greenville’s ordinance requires masks to be worn by workers and customers in all retail businesses.