This Midlands city will keep mask rule in place until Fourth of July

·2 min read

One Midlands city is keeping its face mask requirement in place, even as other parts of the state move toward winding down mask mandates.

Cayce City Council voted Tuesday to extend the rule that residents wear masks in most public places until the Fourth of July, two months after the vote on the extension.

Cayce has routinely extended a 60-day face mask rule since last summer, as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19. But other local governments are moving away from mandating citizens wear masks.

Across the river in Columbia, Mayor Steve Benjamin said he’s “leaning toward” allowing the capital city’s mask mandate to expire later this month. Currently, the city will fine people up to $100 for being unmasked in businesses or other situations where they are within six feet of others.

The same day Cayce’s mandate was extended, the Lexington-Richland 5 school board voted to allow students to not wear masks in school beginning next week. The town of Lexington dropped its face mask requirement in March, the second time the town has allowed a mask mandate to lapse.

Last week, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster expressed his opposition to mask mandates, calling school mask rules “the height of ridiculosity,” citing the rapid rollout of COVID-19 vaccines across the state.

The governor later tweeted that, “Local cities and counties need to drop any remaining restrictions they have in place. It’s time to wrap this up or I will do it for them!”

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