Officials enforce mask ordinance as South Carolinians celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

Officials enforce mask ordinance as South Carolinians celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
Officials enforce mask ordinance as South Carolinians celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (Source: Lauren Adams)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were in full force Saturday and officials were out to remind people to wear their masks.

Hundreds of college students celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at a massive party on Shop Road.

Masks were nowhere to be seen.

“Personally, I’ve been vaccinated and get tests a lot of students get tests there’s no way to know if they’ve been vaccinated or not,” partygoer Frank Martin said.

Organizer Alex Waelde says they canceled the celebration last year but decided to open it back up this year since Governor McMaster lifted restrictions, but he says they only allowed one-third capacity and are taking other precautions.

“We don’t let anyone on the property without a mask. We make sure they are not exposed to coronavirus and if you’re not eating or drinking or smoking you have to be wearing a mask,” Waelde said.

In Five Points, as many college students celebrated the Irish holiday, Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins walked around to make sure their masks were on.

“I think it’s important the fire chief is enforcing the rules. I don’t think it’s taken as seriously in Columbia especially the nightlife in Five Points,” UofSC student Hollis Brecher said.

Chief Jenkins didn’t hand out citations just warnings.

He noted that if people are eating or drinking they don’t have to wear masks.

“It makes me very nervous because we’re right on the edge of getting it under control,” Chief Jenkins said.

Ealier this month, the City of Columbia extended its mask ordinance through May.

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