The Town of Seabrook Island has just issued this Public Advisory #21 on COVIC-19. It clarifies the requirements.
July 1, 2020 — 12:00 pm
Face Coverings Required at All Business Establishments Beginning July 1st
During an emergency meeting on June 30, 2020, Seabrook Island Town Council adopted Emergency Ordinance 2020-03, which requires the use of face coverings at all “business establishments” within the town. The term “business establishment” is broadly defined and includes “any enterprise that sells or offers goods, merchandise or services to its customers through its employees, independent contractors associated with the business, or volunteers acting on behalf of the enterprise.” The term includes “sole proprietorships, joint ventures, partnerships, corporations, or any other form of legal entity whether for profit or not for profit, including those referenced and identified as a food provider.” This definition includes both “public” and “private” entities as long as they are selling or offering goods, merchandise or services to customers. For the avoidance of doubt, the ordinance applies to all entities inside AND outside the gate, including: Town Hall; SIPOA facilities (including the Lake House); Seabrook Island Club facilities; Bohicket Marina; St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center; and all restaurants, offices and retail stores.
The term “face covering” is defined as a “cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers both the mouth and nose, and which effectively contains the expulsion of respiratory droplets by an individual when coughing, sneezing or talking” and includes “surgical masks, N-95 respirators, face shields, handmade masks, bandanas, and neck gaiters.”
Under Emergency Ordinance 2020-03, a face covering is REQUIRED in the following situations:
- Within any portion of a building that is open to the public or to customers of the establishment, ALL PERSONS must wear a face covering. (A face covering is not required in any portion of a building that is NOT open to the public or to customers of the establishment. For example, if customers are limited to the lobby only, a mask is only required within the lobby.)
- ALL PERSONS waiting in line to enter a business establishment must wear a face covering. (This requirement applies to everyone waiting to enter an establishment, including those who maintain at least 6’ separation, as well as individuals who are members of the same household.)
- Business establishments shall require ALL EMPLOYEES to wear face coverings while engaged in face-to-face interactions with customers. (This requirement applies to all employees on the premises of the establishment who are engaged in face-to-face interactions with customers, regardless of whether the interaction occurs indoors or outdoors.)
In addition, each business establishment must post conspicuous signage at all customer entrances to buildings notifying customers that the use of face coverings is mandated by law.
Under Emergency Ordinance 2020-03, a face covering is ENCOURAGED, though not required, in the following situations:
- While participating in gatherings of ten or fewer people, when separation of at least six feet between individuals who do not occupy a common residence is not being practiced. (This requirement applies town-wide, including the beach. As a reminder, groups of more than 10 people remain prohibited under Emergency Ordinance 2020-02.)
- While persons who are employees of a business establishment are within areas of a business establishment NOT open to customers, but where interactions with other persons can occur. (For example, a private office occupied only by an employee, a conference room used only by employees, etc.)
- While any person is being transported in a vehicle with any other person who is not a member of the same household.
- All persons using SIPOA beach access points designated as 1-9, including associated wash stations. (Due to high traffic volumes during the summer months, as well as the narrow width of all boardwalks, individuals are strongly encouraged to wear masks when using beach access points.)
Persons found guilty of violating Emergency Ordinance 2020-03 are subject to a fine of $50.00 per violation, plus required statutory assessments. Businesses found guilty of not requiring employees to wear face coverings shall be subject to a fine of $100.00 per day, plus required statutory assessments. Any business establishment found guilty of violating any provision contained herein may, in addition to any fines, have its business license revoked or suspended. Each violation shall be treated as a separate offense.
The requirements of Emergency Ordinance 2020-03 will be effective as of Wed. July 1st at 12:00 pm, and will remain in effect until August 30th, unless repealed earlier by Town Council. A limited number of exceptions to the ordinance are provided, which may be found in the PDF document below.
Alleged violations of the emergency ordinance may be reported to Seabrook Island Town Hall by phone at (843) 768-9121 or by email at email@example.com.
On June 30, 2020, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) reported a record number of new daily cases with 1,741 individuals testing positive across the state in a single day. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 36,297. According to SCDHEC, there have been 4,026 confirmed cases in Charleston County and 195 cases in the 29455 Zip Code, which contains Seabrook, Kiawah and Johns Islands. As of June 30th, there were 1,021 inpatient beds being occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19. SCDHEC also reported 17 additional deaths on Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 735.
Virtual Care Resources
MUSC Health and Roper St. Francis are offering free virtual care screenings to individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. If you or a loved one are experiencing a fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19, you are encouraged to speak with a provider and, if necessary, be referred for a COVID-19 test. Use the promo code “COVID19” when you log in.
Protect Yourself and Others
To minimize the risk of exposure and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that individuals take the following precautions:
- Hand Hygiene: Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer, avoid of touching your face and mouth, and avoid shaking hands with others.
- Social Distancing: Maintain at least six feet of separation between yourself and others.
- Travel: Avoid unnecessary travel, especially to areas of high concentrations of cases of infection.
- Limit Contact with the Sick and Elderly: Cease visits to nursing homes and other extended-care facilities, except in the case of end-of-life circumstances.
- Wear a Face Covering or Mask: The CDC recommends – and town ordinance now requires – the wearing of face coverings or masks in public settings.
For general questions about COVID-19, please contact the SCDHEC Care Line at (855) 472-3432. Staff will be available to answer calls from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm seven days a week.
For the most reliable information about COVID-19, including what to do if you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms, residents are strongly encouraged to visit official resources, including the SCDHEC and CDC websites.
Official updates from the Town of Seabrook Island will continue to be posted on the following channels:
- Town WEBSITE: www.townofseabrookisland.org
- Town TWITTER feed: www.twitter.com/seabrookislnd87
- Town FACEBOOK page: www.facebook.com/townofseabrookisland
Property owners and managers with rental guests should forward this information to their rental guests. Owners and managers of commercial establishments are also encouraged to share this information with their employees.
-Submitted by Joseph M. Cronin, Town Administrator, Town of Seabrook Island