Hilton Head Island mayor comments on rising COVID-19 cases

Hilton Head Island mayor comments on rising COVID-19 cases

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - The mayor of Hilton Head Island is looking for help at the state level to control residents and visitors to the island.

He says the numbers show social distancing just isn’t working.

South Carolina COVID-19 cases are on the rise and on Hilton Head the mayor says there is not much they can do to enforce guidelines until the governor decides to step in once again.

“So there are parts of the island that is conforming with their civic responsibilities. But there is part of the island that is not. And we keep on encouraging them to do it, but it’s going to take a little bit more than that,” said Mayor John McCann.

The mayor of Hilton Head is trying to find a way to keep COVID-19 infections down

“I talked to the governor of South Carolina. I told him about everyone here is concerned about the increasing number of cases. And the more we test the more we have more people, but we want to know what we have, we don’t wanna be in the dark.”

The mayor wants the governor to step in and help the town enforce social distancing guidelines. He also wants help in finding a way to require face masks

“I said we need the ability here to make an ordinance that is enforceable that everybody has to wear a face mask. He said he would review it this week and get back to us sometime this week.”

The mayor says he is unable to do anything because right now, the governor holds the power

“So, if the governor wanted to put in a ‘everybody has to wear a face mask,’ he could do it because the sheriff’s department, which reports to the governor in an emergency, could deal with that. If the town did it there would be no enforcement.”

Beaufort County has more than 800 positive reported cases of COVID-19. They estimate the numbers are much higher. Which is why the mayor decided to ask for help.

“Well the numbers were getting high. There was a constant elevation of the numbers every day. It wasn’t that they were leveling off and going up again. They were just continually going up.”

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