Data continue to show that mask mandates help control the spread of coronavirus, with the latest example coming from South Carolina, where the state Department of Health and Environmental Control announced Wednesday that parts of the state under public mask-wearing mandates registered a 46.3% drop in coronavirus cases in the four weeks after they were introduced compared to areas of the state that are not.

People wearing protective face masks walk along King St. on July 18, 2020 in Charleston, South … [+] Carolina. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

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Around 60% of South Carolinians do not live in an area with a mask mandate, according to the state.

Most of the state’s population centers, like Charleston, Columbia and Greenville, do have mandates in place.

There is a statewide requirement to wear masks in restaurants.

South Carolina’s coronavirus crisis seems to have peaked—new cases, hospitalizations and deaths have all dropped over the past two weeks.


“This new data shows us what we already knew, wearing face masks works,” said Dr. Linda Bell, South Carolina state epidemiologist. “We’re strongly supportive of these local leaders’ initiatives that are centered on protecting the health and wellbeing of their communities.”


30.4%. That’s what the overall coronavirus case increase was for parts of South Carolina without a mask mandate, while overall cases dropped 15.1% in areas with mandates, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control.


South Carolina is part of a shrinking minority of states that have not issued a statewide mask mandate. There are now 34 states that have issued mandates, with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, the latest to issue a mandate Tuesday, saying he was concerned after seeing images from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. Every state without a mask mandate has a Republican governor.


A similar situation has unfolded in Kansas, which technically does have a statewide mask mandate, but localities are allowed to opt out. A recent analysis there found counties with mandates in place had a drastic drop in coronavirus cases, while counties without mandates saw no improvements.


Everyone must wear face masks inside SC restaurants starting at 5 p.m. Monday, governor orders (WIS-TV)

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Attracts Thousands, With Few Masks And Little Social Distancing (Photos) (Forbes)

All States With Democratic Governors Now Have Mask Mandates, But Most With Republicans Don’t (Forbes)

Kansas counties with mask mandate show steep COVID-19 drop (Associated Press)

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