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Hilton Head, Bluffton extend mask requirements

The coronavirus continues to surge throughout the country. In South Carolina, cases rose after Thanksgiving.

“Now is not the time to let up. Now is the time to redouble our efforts,” state Gov. Henry McMaster said during a news conference in December.

Locally, Hilton Head Town Council voted to extend its emergency ordinance requiring people to wear face coverings in certain circumstances and locations in the municipal limits of the town, effective through Jan. 31, 2021. Town Council cited following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control among reasons for continuing to extend the ordinance. 

The ordinance, which has been in effect since July 1, 2020, includes commercial spaces such as restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, bars, and other establishments.

The town of Bluffton voted to extend its ordinance until Feb. 12. It requires people to wear masks in public businesses and buildings. It requires employees at restaurants, retail stores, salons, grocery stores and pharmacies to wear masks when around the public.

In early December, Pfizer’s vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, with health care workers and nursing home residents expected to be the first priority.