Gov. McMaster asks DHEC to pump the brakes on allowing limited visitation in nursing homes, assisted living facilities

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Governor Henry McMaster is pumping the brakes on allowing limited visitation at nursing homes and assisted living facility as new cases of COVID-19 rise across the state.

Just last week he noted that DHEC was putting together guidelines to lift some restrictions on these facilities so that families could visit their loves ones. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have ha restrictions on visitors in place for a few months because of the pandemic.

Gov. McMaster tweeted about his decision on Thursday, saying he asked the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to postpone releasing its guidelines.

“We must protect the lives of our elderly and at-risk citizens and protect the lives of the front-line healthcare workers in these facilities,” he said in the tweet.

McMaster noted it was a heartbreaking situation for loved ones, but he said the rising rate of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations “leaves us no choice.”

The SC Dept. of Health reported 1,629 new cases on Thursday and 19 additional deaths. 2,836 inpatient hospital beds are available and 7,830 are in use, which is a 73.41% statewide hospital bed utilization rate. Of the 7,830 inpatient beds currently used, 1,125 are occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19.

Governor McMaster continues to ask everyone to wear a mask, practice social distancing and “frequently wash your hands.”

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