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A man delivers pizza to a vehicle on Main Street in North Myrtle Beach. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

Horry County Council will hold an emergency meeting Friday afternoon to discuss whether the county should implement a mandatory mask policy.

The 6 p.m. meeting will be conducted telephonically and can be heard on the county’s website (horrycounty.org). 

Horry County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner said he’s not sure if council members will support adopting a mask policy similar to those passed by councils in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach this week, but he wants to hear their views on the subject. 

“We’ll see what happens,” he said.

When asked if he would support requiring residents to wear masks in public places, Gardner said he's not sure.

“It’s a little bit of a mixed feeling,” he said, adding that he generally doesn’t support local governments creating additional laws but he would be willing to back a policy if he thought it would save lives. “I’d be willing to do what’s best for Horry County.”

Gardner said he recently visited a Conway grocery store and noticed that most shoppers there were wearing masks.

“I believe that Horry County [people] will do the responsible thing and wear face masks when appropriate," he said.

The discussion comes as the area continues to see a surge in COVID-19 cases. The state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on Friday announced 237 new cases of COVID-19 in Horry County, bringing the county's cumulative case total up to 3,963 with 49 deaths related to the disease. 

Any county policy would impact Horry's unincorporated areas, not the city limits. 

Check back for updates.

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236

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I'm the editor of myhorrynews.com and the Carolina Forest Chronicle, a weekly newspaper in Horry County, South Carolina. I cover county government, the justice system and agriculture. Know of a story that needs to be covered? Call me at 843-488-7236.

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