COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Short of issuing a statewide ‘stay at home’ order, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order closing some non-essential, close-contact businesses, venues, activities beginning April 1st.
Gov. McMaster said he has great faith in the people of South Carolina to follow social distancing instructions and said 73% of state employees are now working from home.
He said traffic is down on the interstates, flights coming into South Carolina are down and people are generally doing what they have been asked to do.
However, he said, “We have had some that, over the weekend, despite our instruction and recommendations about social distancing of 6-feet and no crowds congregating, I guess the sunshine got to them and the warm weather, so we had to remind them of that.”
That is why Governor McMaster issued an executive order on Monday closing all public beach and waterway access across the state.
When it comes to closing businesses that are not essential, Gov, McMaster said most lists are so long and confusing, they wanted to offer a boiled down list that would make a larger impact.
He said this list explains what should be closed by the April 1st deadline.
“These are places that we can close where we know the virus has a good place to grow,” he said.
Entertainment venues and facilities as follows:
- Night clubs
- Bowling alleys
- Concert venues
- Theaters, auditoriums, and performing arts centers
- Tourist attractions (including museums, aquariums, and planetariums)
- 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:
- Hair salons
- Waxing salons
- Threading salons
- Nail salons and spas
- Body-art facilities and tattoo services
- Tanning salons
- Massage-therapy establishments and massage services
This order will be in effect for 15 days and may be extended.
McMaster said businesses looking for further clarification on what is or is not considered essential can reach out to the South Carolina Department of Commercial by emailing Covid19sc@sccommerce.com or calling 803-734-2873.
“We must be aggressive as we can be to stop the virus,” McMaster said, “but at the same time not going too far destroying business and jobs people are dependent on.”
State epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said South Carolina saw 158 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the statewide total number of cases to 1,083.
22 people have died in the state because of the coronavirus.
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.