After almost a year, the mask requirement for the City of West Columbia, S. C. is no more. With the first ordinance enacted by Mayor Tem Miles and the West Columbia City Council in June, 2020, there have been subsequent renewals every other month to keep the restriction in place.
The last version of the ordinance was signed into being on March 2, 2021 and expires today, on the sixty-first day after taking effect. Emergency ordinances were intended for short-term use.
The publicly-posted agenda for the May 4th West Columbia City Council meeting contains an agenda item to continue the state of emergency, thereby allowing virtual meetings in place of in-person. However, there is no mention of the mask ordinance for the meeting. A council member stated privately that the March renewal was going to be the last one.
Governor Henry McMaster (R - S. C.) spoke strongly this past week against the continuation of COVID-19 restrictions and mask ordinances. “I’d ask that the cities and counties that have restrictions out there to wrap it up,” Governor McMaster said. “We’ve got to get back to normal. There’s a lot of businesses pent up. They want to do things and except in some circumstances there is no reason to hold them back anymore.”