Citations for face mask violations continue to be on a crescendo in downtown Charleston since the start of the new year. Feb. 5-7, especially Super Bowl Sunday, saw another expensive spike for those failing to comply with the city’s COVID-19 mandate.
Mid-January witnessed a record number of face mask fines within the city — 141 tickets to the tune of $14,000 — all recorded downtown alone. The first weekend of February had a similar outcome.
On 98 separate occasions, pedestrians and people loitering outside stores, bars and restaurants downtown received fines for not wearing a mask. The series of first-time offenses totaled $9,800.
Most violations took place up and down King Street during the nighttime hours, according to the city’s Department of Livability and Tourism Director Dan Riccio, who oversees operations for the city’s Livability Code Enforcement (LCE) officers.
Meanwhile, Riccio’s task force also patrolled Daniel Island recently. LCE officers chose one day at random, without prior announcement, to surveil the island for four hours.
On Feb. 3, only eight citations in total were written on Daniel Island. The main spots were corner stores, primarily outside the two gas stations on the island.
“Daniel Island had a lot of compliance. It looked really good,” Riccio said.
Riccio reiterated that anybody walking around in public without a mask on is subject to be fined. The first offense is $100, the second offense is $200 and the third offense and any thereafter is $500.
Here are links to the City of Charleston's full emergency mask ordinance (https://bit.ly/3arGLuR
) that has been extended to March 12, and to the FAQ sheet (https://bit.ly/3qsoeUu
) the city has provided about the ordinance.