LAKE CITY, S.C. − There was no long line of cars Thursday morning as Lake City leaders started handing out face masks − 2,000 total with five going to each person − but the steady stream of three to four cars at a time had Lake City City Manager Stephany Snowden calling around looking for additional masks.

"We're doing our best to make sure we get some masks out," said Mayor Lovith Anderson as he, council woman Wilhelmena Scott, Snowden and several city employees worked the car line. They exchanged shouted greetings, pleasantries, local happenings and masks as cars cycled through the parking lot of the Greater Lake City Community Resource Center.

Lake City City Council members unanimously passed an ordinance that calls for masks indoors and in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. The giveaway was an effort to make sure residents had the supplies they needed to comply.

"Everyone gets five as long as the supply lasts," Anderson said.

At one point Anderson and Scott ventured across four-lanes of Main Street to make sure one of the city's oldest residents had masks.

"We've had multiple partners who joined us," Anderson said.

The partners included Lake City Housing Authority members, S.C. Rep. Roger Kirby and S.C. Sen. Ronnie Sabb, said Snowden.

Anderson said masks were going to be a key to fighting the virus in a state that has become a hot spot for COVID-19 infections.

"Other states are quarantining people who have traveled here recently," the mayor said. "That tells us we have a problem, and it's going to take everyone coming together and working together, and not thinking so much about self, but about each other, to make this thing work."

"I think in terms of saving a life," Scott said. "There are so many I know in the community and the area who have contracted the virus, and some have died."

"We have a chance if we continue to use the mask. Mask up wherever you go, and wash your hands. Those things are important.

"We want it to be effective so children can go back to school, and we can go back to normal again, but we can never go back to normal again if we continue the activity that was going on before the order came out," Scott said.

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