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Irmo jumps on the Face Covering Ordinance band wagon

Irmo, SC (Paul Kirby) – The Town of Irmo joined the band wagon of Lexington County towns and cities that have passed emergency ordinances on face coverings in town during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s really not that bad when you actually focus on what it says.

Like most of the other towns and cities, Irmo’s ordinance says that citizens will be required to wear face masks or coverings while inside a restaurant or retail store. This would include but is not limited to grocery stores, convenience stores, sporting goods stores, furniture stores, clothing stores, pharmacies, laundromats, and alcoholic beverage stores. You should get the point by now. These are places where an employee comes face-to-face with the businesses employees to buy something of value.

Irmo’s also has a good many exemptions that are becoming a common thread. If you are in Irmo and in an outdoor or unenclosed area belonging to a retail or food service establishment where social distancing of at least six feet is possible, you don’t have to wear one. This would mean a patio or outdoor eating area with just enough chairs for patrons to sit without getting too close to each other.

If you have religious beliefs that would keep you from wearing a face covering, you don’t have to. You also don’t have to wear a face covering if you have a medical or behavioral condition that prevents that. You are also not required to identify that specific condition. That’s not an Irmo thing but a federal government thing. A law passed in 1996 includes the HIPAA law that says your personal health information is your business, not anyone else’s. Just say you have meet the health exemptions.

Children under the age of 10 who are accompanied by someone ages 10 through 18 that makes a reasonable effort to make the little ones wear the covering while inside a retail or food service establishments doesn’t have to wear one.

Now if you are eating in a food service establishment, you’re in private or individual office, or you are complying with directions of law enforcement officials, you don’t have to have your face covered either. You really don’t have to wear one in a situation where it is not feasible to wear a face covering. Like every other town and city around, they mention swimming or receiving dental services as examples.

The exemption also covers exclusively someone with family members of the same household, and no one else other than those family members, that are within the same enclosed areas. That would cover you and your family at home most would think.

This is a pretty straight forward ordinance and it’s not too tough. It doesn’t require a regular citizen to police someone else and that’s a good way to get into an argument. In fact, that’s also a good way to get punched after everyone has been dealing with this COVID-19 and its restrictions for so long. The other person who did the punching will probably go to jail and you could sue them but is it really worth all that? Let the people who have the responsibility of enforcing this ordinance do their job and you keep your nose out of it.

If you find a business that has lots of people that aren’t wearing a mask, call the police or the town hall. Then, don’t go in and just find another place to do business. Find another place to spend your money if you are uncomfortable or even mad! Richland County does have a mask ordinance as does Columbia, West Columbia, Cayce, and Lexington all do too. Still, there are many places that don’t and if you are unhappy, just do your business elsewhere!

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