COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order on Thursday opening public boat ramps for fishing and recreation in first steps towards getting the state back to normal.
Gov. McMaster said it’s too early to celebrate, though, and said we still have a way to go in the fight against the coronavirus.
“In earlier orders we asked people to take life a little easy – to relax, to recreate, get out and walk, exercise. Well, a lot of that happens on the water,” he said. “A lot of families like to get on the water, so we’re going to open those ramps back up.”
It’s important to note, South Carolina has not yet reached its peak. DHEC announced 276 new cases of the coronavirus cases in SC on Thursday with a total number of 3,931.
Gov. McMaster said people must continue to watch their social distancing and urged people not to have any large gatherings.
The state’s ‘stay home or stay at work’ order remains active. That means non-essential businesses will remain closed, no public gatherings, and no trips to the beach.
Before Thursday’s briefing in Columbia, Governor McMaster said he attended a telephone conference with other governors, President Trump and Vice President Pence, and said the feeling across the nation was that the end was in sight. But he said now is not the time to give up.
He also proposed a solution to the General Assembly that would keep the state’s government from shutting down amid the pandemic.
“As you know, last week they left without passing a continuing resolution to keep the government from closing down,” he said. “It’s difficult for them all to come back to the statehouse before May the 14th, which is the normal date the general assembly would adjourn.”
Gov. McMaster said that is likely when South Carolina will be at its peak regarding the virus and said the General Assembly should not return until June, before the end of the fiscal year.
McMaster said he fully expects the economy to be back in business by that time.
“They can come in then and pass that continuing resolution and any other important matters. That way the government will not shut down, we will have no concerns about having the government shutdown.”