Governor and Columbia residents react to increase in COVID cases

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — While saying that the situation is not as bad as last year, Gov. Henry McMaster did address the threat the delta variant poses to South Carolina.

It’s why he’s pointing residents in the direction of the between 900 and 1,000 sites to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

“It’s free. It’s convenient. The lines are not like they used to be. You can get in and get out,” McMaster said at a press conference Monday. “Go ahead and make your decision.”

Some are still holding out.

“I haven’t gotten the vaccine. I’m not quite sure if I will get it,” said Columbia resident Amanda Brand. “I know a lot of people that have had it, got bad reactions from it and still got COVID. I’m borderline on getting the vaccine right now.”

“I think everyone needs to get the vaccine,” said another resident, Cheryl Flynn. “They are putting everyone else in danger.”

However, even some of the unvaccinated have been wearing masks.

“I wear a mask wherever I go,” Brand said.

However, McMaster has banned schools from requiring students to wear masks this fall.

“It’s a shame they’ve done that because it puts the rest of us at peril, especially the school children,” said Columbia resident Daniel Flynn.

While saying that masks do prevent the spread of COVID, McMaster believes masks make learning more difficult for both students and teachers.

The governor said today he believes the state is doing a good job handling the pandemic.

“It is our duty during the pandemic to protect the lives of those who are most vulnerable,” McMaster said. “I think we have done a good job at doing that.”

He restated Monday that he believes mandates are not the answer, but personal responsibility and common sense are instead.

“I encourage every South Carolinian to strongly consider getting vaccinated,” the governor said.

“I think we need to listen to science more than political leanings. Abide by what science is telling us to do instead of the politicians,” said Cheryl Flynn.

“Just do the right thing according to what you believe but be prepared to reap the benefits or consequences because of your choices,” said another resident, David Lewis.

Also on Monday, the governor was asked his thoughts on Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin’s mask mandate for elementary and middle schools for the fall. McMaster said that he believes this mandate violates state law and would not hold up in court. This is contrary to what the mayor believes.

What will come of this mandate, remains to be seen.


Categories: Local News, Richland