COLUMBIA, S.C. — At News19 WLTX, our coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit www.wltx.com/coronavirus-covid-19 for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about South Carolina specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and keep tabs on the cases around the world here. Have a question? Text it to us at 803-776-9508.
State and federal officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are continually monitoring the spread of the virus. They are also working hand-in-hand with the World Health Organization to track the spread around the world and to stop it. DHEC, South Carolina's health agency, is leading the fight in our state.
We will continue to track the most important coronavirus elements relating to South Carolina on this page. Refresh often for new information.
- 22 deaths from the novel coronavirus in South Carolina
- 1,083 confirmed cases in 42 counties
- Governor shuts down all non-essential businesses
- DHEC projection indicates there could be 8,000 cases by May
- Columbia issues stay-at-home order for residents
- All public schools in the state closed until at least April 30
- State of emergency in effect
- Gov. McMaster allows law enforcement to break up groups of 3 or more
Tuesday, March 31
How Transitions is helping the homeless during the pandemic
The center is making sure everyone is praticing social distancing and meals are served in shifts to help keep people apart.
DHEC: 158 new cases, 4 new deaths related to coronavirus
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on Tuesday announced four additional deaths and over 1,000 cases related to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
This brings the state’s total number of deaths to 22.
Gov. McMaster shuts down all non-essential businesses
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered all non-essential businesses statewide to close to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
McMaster's executive order focuses on three key types of businesses: Entertainment venues, recreational and athletic facilities, and close-contact service providers. It goes into effect on April 1 at 5 p.m., and runs for 15 days by state statute. It could be amended, the governor said.
Fort Jackson limits post access for veterans due to COVID-19
Fort Jackson announced that only mission essential and key personnel will be allowed on post beginning April 6 in response to increased cases of COVID-19 on the base.
“I must limit the risks for everyone’s health and safety as Fort Jackson continues to train and perform our mission,” Fort Jackson Commander Brig. Gen. Milford H. Beagle, Jr. said.
If you live in Orangeburg you are being asked to hang onto your recycling just a little bit longer and no bulk items like appliances in the trash
Inmates at Broad River correctional are helping fight the virus by making masks for first responders
According to a tweet from the South Carolina Department of Corrections, they are making more than 1,000 masks daily for SCDC, DJJ, MUSC & other emergency responders and health care facilities.
No visitation at South Carolina prisons until April 30
SC Governor to give update on coronavirus response at 4 PM
South Governor Henry McMaster and state health leaders will give an update on the state's efforts to combat the coronavirus Tuesday afternoon.
McMaster will speak from the state's emergency operations center at 4 p.m. WLTX will have live coverage in the video player that will be attached to this article, as well as on our TV channel and Facebook page.
Defense Department to tell public of coronavirus numbers just not at what bases
80th annual Sumter Irish Festival Canceled
The festival which falls on every year on Memorial Day weekend, is the longest running festival in the state of South Carolina, according to the release. It has only been canceled and few times in its history, in the 1940s during World War II and in 1990 after in Hurricane Hugo.
Senior Resources free meals location change
As of March 31, there has been a location update. Two locations have changed on the Wednesday Emergency Senior Nutrition Program distribution schedule.
Senior Resources will distribute meals at Dent Middle School instead of the Richland Library Northeast branch and Trinity United Methodist Church instead of the Richland Library Blythewood branch on Wednesday.
More information about the program and locations can be found here.
Dominion Energy closes public access boat ramps
In compliance with an executive order from Gov. Henry McMaster, Dominion Energy has closed its public access boat ramps at Lake Murray and Lake Monticello.
Some flights cancelled at Columbia Metropolitan Airport due to coronavirus
At Columbia Metropolitan Airport, Customer Service & Public Relations Manager Lynne Douglas says the following airlines have reduced service:
- Going from 7 to 6 daily departures to Charlotte
- Going from 3 to 2 daily departures to Washington DC
- Until further notice, ceasing their 1 nonstop to Miami
- Suspending their 1 flight to New York
- Going from 9 to 4 daily departures to Atlanta
- Suspending their 2 flights to New York
- No changes from them as of now
Richland District Two revises locations for school meals pickup, releases interactive map to find your nearest location.
Monday, March 30
New safety procedures to begin on Tuesday March 31 for riding on the COMET.
Riders will be asked not to stand and to sit only one person per row.
SC Governor orders public access to all beaches closed
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has closed public access to all beaches and has closed all public boat ramps, landings and other access points on the state's lakes, rivers and waterways.
McMaster issued an executive order Monday evening making that official.
"As a result of behavior observed this past weekend by the Department of Natural Resources and SLED, it has become necessary to close public access to our state's beaches, and to close boat ramps and landings on our state's lakes, rivers and waterways," said Gov. Henry McMaster.
So you've won the lottery. Congratulations. But how do you cash in your ticket?
The best thing to do, according to the lottery, is make sure to sign your ticket and keep it in a safe place and wait till offices open, or you can mail it in.
CDC says they have NOT received any reports of pets with COVID-19
DHEC: 925 cases of coronavirus, 2 new deaths in SC
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Monday announced 151 new cases of coronavirus and two additional deaths.
This brings the state’s total number of deaths to 18, and total cases to 925.
Richland County had 40 new cases, and now leads the state.
140 SC National Guard members activated for potential missions
Approximately 140 members of the South Carolina National Guard (SCNG) have been activated for coordination of potential missions in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The SCNG has been working with state and county officials to determine the need for National Guard personnel and resources.
Lexington-Richland 5 makes changes to feeding programs
Starting today, students will not be required to be present at feeding sites for parents & guardians to receive their students' meals. The change comes as a result of a new federal and state-approved waiver, allowing districts to distribute meals “to a parent or guardian to take home to their children."
Though students are not required to be present at feeding sites, parents will be required to show their students' ID cards, if they have them. If they do not have them, they will be required to sign their name and list their children’s names in order to receive the meals.
Free meals for children age 18 or younger are offered on Mondays only at six schools in Lexington-Richland School District Five. Students receive 5 days-worth of breakfast and lunch items, during the Monday meal offering.
Virtual church services become the new normal
An ordinarily busy Sunday morning in the Bible belt has turned quiet.
Midlands residents are home bound and local churches are taking their services online.
“I am not used to preaching to a camera," Columbia preacher Adam Gibson told us.
Sunday, March 29
113 new cases, 1 new death reported Sunday
South Carolina's health agency reported 113 new cases and 1 new death from the coronavirus outbreak Sunday.
The numbers bring the total number of cases to 773 and the number of deaths to 16.
Richland County now has 95 total cases, up 17 from a day earlier. It's the Midlands county with the most cases. Charleston leads the state with 117.
READ MORE: DHEC: 113 new coronavirus cases, 1 new death
Columbia area hair stylist talks about the effect of COVID-19 on her salon business
Columbia's Stay-at-Home order now in effect
A citywide stay-at-home order is now in effect in Columbia, an effort the leaders of the capital hope will stop the further spread of the coronavirus.
The order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning. It attempts to restrict people from all but "essential" travel.
Here's a breakdown of what it will do, and what is considered an essential business under the order.
READ MORE: Stay-at-home order now in effect in Columbia
Saturday, March 28
DHEC: 2 new deaths, over 100 new cases of coronavirus
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced two additional deaths related to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths to 15.
According to DHEC, both patients were elderly individuals who had underlying health conditions. One patient was a resident of Richland County and one of Horry County.
There are now 660 confirmed cases statewide in 40 counties. That's up 121 from a day earlier.
Mayor Benjamin says Columbia's stay-at-home order is constitutional
Prisma Health announces furlough during coronavirus crisis
According to the organization, they do not know how long the furlough will last, and it impacts administrative, corporate and clinical employees.
DHEC now shows South Carolina coronavirus cases by zip code
In addition to showing South Carolina coronavirus cases by county and map, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is now showing the number of positive cases by zip code on its website.
S.C. Corrections officer tests positive for coronavirus
The officer worked in a special-population housing unit with 16 inmates.
President Trump approves major disaster declaration for South Carolina
Federal emergency aid has been made available to supplement local recovery efforts in areas affected by the coronavirus.
Friday, March 27
DHEC: 86 new cases, 4 new deaths related to coronavirus
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced Friday four additional deaths related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. This brings the state’s total number of deaths to 13.
The patients, who were all elderly and had underlying health conditions, were from Richland, Kershaw, Greenville and Florence counties.
SC Governor issues mandatory quarantine for visitors from virus 'hotspots'
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has issued a mandatory quarantine for anyone coming into the state from a coronavirus hotspot, as the state announced four more deaths from the virus.
McMaster announced his plan at the state emergency operations center in West Columbia, where he was joined by Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen. Tim Scott.
SC U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham tests positive for the coronavirus
South Carolina U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham has tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the first Congressman from the state to catch the illness.
Cunningham sent a statement out Friday. He'd already been in self-quarantine for eight days after coming into contact with someone who tested positive.
Gov. McMaster, Sen. Lindsey Graham & Tim Scott to speak at 4 PM
outh Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster will give an update on the state's response to the ongoing coronavirus today at 4 p.m. and this time, he'll be joined by the state's two U.S. Senators.
McMaster will make his remarks at the state emergency operations center in West Columbia. South Carolina U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott will be there too.
You can watch live on WLTX.com and over-the-air.
Local governments can't issue stay at home orders, AG says
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson says local governments don't have the authority to issue their own stay-at-home orders.
Wilson issued a written opinion Friday in response to a question from Rep. Jeff Bradley of Beaufort, and comes after Columbia and Charleston passed orders.
Columbia and Charleston have passed such orders.
SC State Parks to close through April
Beginning Saturday, March 28, all state parks in South Carolina will be closed through Thursday, April 30, to support the state’s response to COVID-19, the state agency said Friday. The closure is designed to keep visitors and employees as safe as possible by mitigating the spread of the coronavirus.
SC REAL ID deadline moved to 2021 due to coronavirus
The deadline to get a South Carolina REAL ID has been moved to October, 2021.
DHEC director takes leave during pandemic because of health concerns
In a letter, Rick Toomey says he will be going away for a few weeks because he needs to focus on his health. The change in leadership comes during the coronavirus pandemic. DHEC is one of the leading agencies in the response to the virus.