COLUMBIA, S.C. — As coronavirus numbers spike in South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster says the state will delay releasing guidelines for limited visitation at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
McMaster made the announcement on Twitter.
"Today I have directed DHEC to postpone releasing their guidelines for allowing limited visitation at our state's nursing homes and assisted living facilities," McMaster said. "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. This is a heartbreaking situation for loved ones, but the rising rate of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations leaves us no choice.
The statement comes after officials announced 1,629 new virus cases and 19 additional deaths in the state on Thursday.
On Wednesday, officials announced a record number of hospitalizations and deaths in the state due to COVID-19.
Nursing home and assisted living facility residents are at higher risk for developing severe complications from the virus.
On March 13, McMaster issued an Executive Order that stopped public visitation to nursing homes in order to help protect the vulnerable population of residents, staff and visitors. This order is still in effect today.