June 15, 2020
Town Council Passes Emergency Ordinance
Today, June 15, Town Council approved a new emergency ordinance (Ordinance 2020-03), which incorporates recent recensions Governor McMaster made to his Executive Orders during the coronavirus outbreak and addressees the operation of essential businesses within the Town. Ordinance 2020-03 will expire on August 8, 2020, unless modified or rescinded earlier. The emergency ordinance can be read in its entirety here. A summary is provided below.
All directives and procedures adopted by the Town’s prior Emergency Ordinances (2020-01, 2020-02) were rescinded with the following exceptions:
- The Town adopted all Executive Orders as amended issued by Governor Henry McMaster related to the coronavirus.
- Essential businesses covered by the Governor’s Executive Order No. 2020-21; Section 1(1) must:
- Limit the number of customers not to exceed five customers per 1,000 square feet of retail space or twenty percent (20%) of the occupancy limit as determined by the fire marshal, whichever is less.
- Limit customers to a single person per family or group at a time except for shoppers with small children when no other adult is present and persons that medically require assistance
- Not allow patrons to congregate within six (6) feet of one another, exclusive of family units.
- Comply with sanitation guidelines promulgated by the CDC, DHEC, or any other state or federal public health officials.
Further, businesses that limit the maximum occupancy to less than approved by building or fire authorities must prominently display the revised occupancy level at all entrances. If applicable to the business, the requirement for “a single person per family or group” must be prominently displayed at all entrances.
In connection with today’s Council discussion and vote, Mayor Weaver commented “The action by the Town Council to rescind the majority of the Town’s special orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic does not mean that we believe that the threat of COVID-19 to our community and its residents and guests has diminished. The recent upward trend in the number of new cases and deaths in the State and the County makes clear that it has not happened and suggests the threat may be increasing. However, as I have reported in recent messages, the State’s approach has changed in support of its reopening of businesses and reviving State and local economies. That approach relies on businesses, such as restaurants, retail stores, hotels, short-term rentals, and private clubs, to act responsibly and follow those operating and safety guidelines created and endorsed by their industry associations.
“It further relies on the public, both residents and visitors to our community, to take personal responsibility to assess their health risks and manage their public activity and exposure accordingly. Finally, this strategy will only work when each of us looks beyond our personal health interests or our business interests, goes beyond what is mandated and convenient, and shows real concern for and takes steps to not expose others in the community to the COVID-19 virus.
“Because the Governor has rescinded the majority of his thirty-plus pandemic related measures in recent days, the Town must follow suit either to ensure consistency and clarity between the State’s and Town’s actions or because we no longer have authority for some actions previously taken.
“One exception is the continuation of occupancy restrictions at the Town’s grocery establishments, where the Town has determined that Kiawah faces unique issues. These restrictions continue to be necessary and must be enforced to ensure the safety of our residents.”
Weaver added “Although some mandatory restrictions are rescinded, their benefit remains. We echo the public health professionals who continue to stress the importance of avoiding large social gatherings, maintaining social distancing, practicing personal hygiene, and, more recently, encouraging the use of face masks in public places as an effective measure for protection and prevention.”
Violators of any provision contained in this Emergency Ordinance will be subject to a civil fine of up to $500.00 plus required statutory assessments.