COVID-19 Update July 28, 2020

In recent days, I have received emails and heard public comments regarding the non-compliance of mask wearing in businesses and locations in the City of Sumter. I feel the need to emphasize that the ordinance approved by City Council requires business owners to ensure that his or her employees are taking the appropriate steps to protect themselves and patrons. Additionally, the ordinance maintains that a facial covering requirement should be made clear to all customers upon entry to the establishment. Businesses are allowed to offer exceptions, including outdoor areas of these establishments in which social/physical distancing may be observed, for people whose religious beliefs or medical condition prevent the wearing of a facial covering, for children under eight years old, for customers during the consumption of food, in private offices, and during compliance with law enforcement’s directions. (To read the full Facial Coverings Ordinance visit our COVID-19 updates page here).
In an article published in The State newspaper, Dr. Anthony Alberg, professor and chair of the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health emphasized the need for face coverings and the continued need for social/physical distancing. I agree with Dr. Alberg and other state and national public health experts that wearing a mask, practicing social/physical distancing and regularly sanitizing your hands are the best tactics to minimize the spread of this virus.
Last week, City Council approved an extension of our facial coverings’ ordinance. Until our numbers decrease significantly, limited access to our facilities and playgrounds will continue. Additionally, our recycling program remains on hold, for the safety of our employees and residents.
While Sumter City Council understands the impact that continued government regulations have on the economic mobility of our business community, we also must emphasize the need to continue to ensure the health and safety of our citizens. In times such as these, I am reminded of the will and determination that makes the Sumter community strong. I urge you to use this same will and determination to protect your family, friends and fellow Sumterities.
Thank you. 
Mayor Joe McElveen