Gov. McMaster closes dine-in at restaurants and bars; wants insurance companies to pay costs associated with COVID-19 treatment, visits

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order on Tuesday ordering restaurants and bars to stop dine-in service beginning Wednesday morning.

Curbside pick-up and delivery will still be open for participating restaurants.

Gov. McMaster is also prohibiting organized events of 50 or more people from being held at any publicly owned facility.

He also required the South Carolina Department of Revenue to extend the tax deadline until June 1st.

“That is to file and to pay all state taxes, including income taxes, business taxes, sales taxes for small, as well as large businesses,” he said.

McMaster said the idea behind the extension is to allow businesses to maintain their cash flow during the crisis and pay their employees.

Organized events with more than 50 people are now prohibited from being held at any state, county, city or publicly owned facility.

During his Tuesday afternoon press conference, Governor McMaster said he is requiring the National Guard to begin coordinating and planning with hospitals for mobile facilities, to build infrastructure, and to acquire resources needed to combat COVID-19 and provide care to patients.

“This is a plan,” he said. “We are not doing this – we are making plans. Our goal is to stay ahead, to think ahead and to stop this virus.”

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will waive regulations so hospitals can use medical and nursing school students to help in their operations.

Gov. McMaster said is he requesting all South Carolina medical and surgical centers halt elective and non-threatening surgical procedures within the next 72-hours.

The reason is so space, medication, equipment and personnel, used by the hospitals, can be used to treat patients who come in the hospitals with the virus.

He also asked South Carolina insurance companies to pay 100% of the cost associated with a coronavirus doctor’s office visit. “We want those visits to be free for the patients. This means no payment will be required for things like x-rays, tests and procedures that are done in connection with testing and determining the presence of the coronavirus COVID-19,” he said.

State health officials say they are investigating 14 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 47.

The locations of the new cases are as follows:

  • 1 new case from Beaufort County
  • 2 new cases from Charleston County
  • 1 new case from Calhoun County
  • 5 new cases from Kershaw County
  • 1 new case from Lexington County
  • 1 new case from Richland County
  • 1 new case from York County
  • 1 new case from Greenville County
  • 1 new case from Horry County

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