MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina beach town has renewed its mask mandate as coronavirus cases trend downward following a spike linked to the popular tourist destination this summer.

Myrtle Beach on Thursday extended through Sept. 30 the July executive order mandating face coverings to be worn in public places, according to the city's website. The order was set to expire Sept. 9, news outlets reported.

“This is not the time to stop our efforts,” City Manager John Pedersen said during a City Council meeting Thursday.

In June and July, some coronavirus clusters in other states, including West Virginia and New Jersey, were linked to vacationers, wedding attendees and others returning from trips to Myrtle Beach. Horry County, which contains Myrtle Beach, also saw a spike in cases. Since then, data shows the county has seen a downward trend in case numbers, according to The Sun News.

Pedersen said the area saw fewer tourists in August, which may have contributed to slowing the spread, the newspaper said. He added that businesses within the city were enforcing the mandate.

The mandate calls for face masks to be worn in all retail businesses or establishments that are open to the public, including grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, salons, gyms and other buildings, according to the policy.


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