"When the lockdown got lifted, it just right away started doubling quickly," said Dr. Michael Sweat, the Medical University of South Carolina's director for the center of global health. "We've got a pretty high growth rate. It's about 8 percent a day and we're getting some big numbers. It's got us all very concerned."
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"My best guess is we're going to probably continue to see relatively high growth in these numbers at least for a couple of weeks," he said.
- Medical University of South Carolina
Sweat believes the mask ordinances will help lower the infection rate. "I think this is going to raise their awareness," he said. "I think the fact that it is a policy empowers businesses to uphold that. It's been very awkward for businesses because they were kind of damned if they did and damned if they didn't enforce that."
Folly Beach, Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Kiawah Island, Isle of Palms and Summerville have each passed some kind of face mask ordinance, requiring residents to wear a mask when visiting some businesses. Dorchester County has passed a local ordinance as well. Charleston County is requiring masks in county buildings, but not elsewhere.
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"You can tolerate that kind of high growth rate when there aren't so many cases, but as we're now getting into larger numbers of cases, it can really explode real quick," Sweat said.
With the July 4th weekend coming up, Sweat recommends people avoid large crowds, have any get-togethers outdoors, wear a mask and keep a distance.