S.C. Gov. McMaster orders ‘non-essential’ businesses to close, coronavirus-related death reported in York Co.

South Carolina closing non-essential businesses

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTV) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has issued an executive order to close all non-essential businesses across the state to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

This executive order goes into effect on Wednesday, April 1.

The businesses that will be closed as a result of the governor’s executive order are as follows:

Entertainment venues and facilities as follows:

  • Night clubs
  • Bowling alleys
  • Arcades
  • Concert venues
  • Theaters, auditoriums, and performing arts centers
  • Tourist attractions (including museums, aquariums, and planetariums)
  • Racetracks
  • Indoor children’s play areas (excluding daycare facilities)
  • Adult entertainment venues
  • Bingo halls
  • Venues operated by social clubs

Recreational and athletic facilities and activities as follows:

  • Fitness and exercise centers and commercial gyms
  • Spas and public or commercial swimming pools
  • Group exercise facilities, to include yoga, barre, and spin studios or facilities
  • Spectator sports
  • Sports that involve interaction with another person in close proximity and within less than six (6) feet of another person
  • Activities that require the use of shared sporting apparatus and equipment
  • Activities on commercial or public playground equipment

Close-contact service providers as follows:

  • Barber shops
  • Hair salons
  • Waxing salons
  • Threading salons
  • Nail salons and spas
  • Body-art facilities and tattoo services
  • Tanning salons
  • Massage-therapy establishments and massage services

According to the order, if a business is not explicitly addressed in the governor’s executive order, the business should continue normal operations until a determination is made. If a business has a question as to whether they qualify as essential, they should complete the Essential Business Clarification form located on the South Carolina Department of Commerce website, which will be easily accessible on the South Carolina Department of Commerce’s website. Questions can also be sent to covid19sc@sccommerce.com, or business representatives can call 803-734-2873.

South Carolina now has 1,083 coronavirus cases. The state has 22 virus-related deaths. On Tuesday, South Carolina health officials announced 158 additional cases and four more virus-related deaths.

Of the four new deaths, three patients were elderly individuals who also had underlying health conditions, and one patient was a middle-aged individual who did not have underlying health conditions.

They were residents of Aiken, Calhoun, Marion, and York counties.

The York County virus-related death is the first reported South Carolina death in the WBTV-viewing area.

York County has 56 cases, Lancaster County has 15 cases, Chesterfield County has six cases and Chester County has two cases.

Gov. McMaster was joined by state public health officials for a media briefing to update the public on the state’s response to the coronavirus Tuesday, March 31 at 4 p.m.

On Friday afternoon, South Carolina health officials released the state’s coronavirus cases by zip code.

On Monday, McMaster issued an executive order closing all of the state’s beaches, as well as boat ramps, landings and other access points to the state’s lakes, rivers and waterways. McMaster issued an executive order Friday calling for a mandatory quarantine for those coming into the state from areas in the country deemed “hot spots” for the novel coronavirus.

Local governments across the state and politicians from both sides of the aisle have recently called on McMaster to issue a statewide stay-at-home order.

Late last week, DHEC reported a backlog of specimens to be tested that had developed at DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory due to a nationwide shortage in the reagents (chemicals) required to perform testing.

As of March 27, 2020, DHEC’s Laboratory now has the necessary reagents. The lab is operating extended hours and is testing specimens seven days a week. As of today, DHEC’s Laboratory will resume a turnaround time of 24-48 hours once specimens are received at the lab.

DHEC’s COVID-19 webpage is updated daily with a map of positive cases as well as the most current recommendations for protecting against COVID-19.

“We recognize that this is a challenging time and that what we’re calling on everyone across our state to do is not easy,” Dr. Traxler said. “But the risk of inaction is far too great. If we all don’t follow the guidance for social distancing and staying home, then we can anticipate seeing higher rates of cases similar to what we’ve seen in other states.”

All South Carolinians are encouraged to stay home and minimize contact with people outside their households to prevent the spread of the disease. Everyone is encouraged to monitor themselves for symptoms, practice social distancing, avoid touching frequently touched items, and regularly wash their hands.

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