CAYCE, S.C. — Law enforcement will begin enforcing the "home or work" order from Governor Henry McMaster starting at 5 pm Tuesday.
The governor made the announcement on Monday as he was briefing the media at the SC emergency operations center.
McMaster said he did that because people are not complying enough with previous requests. "We've asked, we've urged, we've suggested, but the last week or so has shown it is not enough," he said.
Here are some of the key provisions of the order, which puts in criminal penalties for non-compliance:
- Everyone should stay home unless working, visiting family, or getting necessary goods or service. People can go for walks or exercise as long as they're practicing good social distancing
- Mandates that retail stores limit customers to no more than 5 customers for every 1,000 square feet of space, or 20 percent capacity, whichever is less, and increasing social distancing
- No new businesses closed, beyond the executive order that went into effect at 5 p.m. Monday (that included clothing and furniture stores)
- Violations will be a misdemeanor with 30 days in jail or a $100 fine.
- Essential businesses will stay open as they have under previous orders, so going to grocery stores, pharmacies, picking up food at a restaurant, or shopping at big box or home improvement stores is allowed
"It's on a case by case basis," said Chief Byron Snellgrove of the Cayce Department of Public Safety. "Our primary concern is the health and well being of our citizens."
His department along with many others across the state will begin enforcing the order starting at 5 pm on Tuesday.
"We don't want to make any charges or arrest anyone on this but if they're frequent flyers and can't understand what they're supposed to do, then we'll do what we have to do," explained Chief Snellgrove.
Some viewers have asked if they'll need a letter from their employer stating they need to get back and forth from work and home.
"I think it's a good idea to have that. I don't think that it's required under the order or any curfews that I'm aware of, but I think it is a good idea. If you own a business and you have employees who need to be going out between 11 pm and 5 or 6 am, I think you should probably issue those letters saying that they are essential workers and what their schedules would be."
Chief Snellgrove says they've already talked with businesses about the order. According to the governor, retail stores must limit customers to no more than five for every 1,000 square feet of space or 20 percent capacity, whichever is less, to increase social distancing.
"(Owners) are more than willing to accommodate the order. They don't want their people getting sick either."
The chief of the department says he doesn't think it will affect business owners in Cayce a lot because they haven't seen a lot of lines backed up to get into businesses.
The Cayce Department of Public Safety says they'll be keeping an eye on who's out on the roads while the order is in place.
"We've got some thoroughfares that come through the city... if it's a day where we think people are going through their thoroughfares back and forth to work or the hospital or something like that, we're probably going to leave those alone."
The chief went on to say, "If the middle of the night and you're in one of our neighborhoods and your tag comes back to a Columbia address, there's probably not a real good reason for you to be out there. We're going to be stopping those kinds of cars and seeing what they're doing and if they have a legitimate reason for being there."
Those who don't follow the order will have be charged with a misdemeanor with 30 days in jail or a $100 fine.
"There is a possibility to be a charge but officers use discretion in those cases and common sense and again we don't want to charge anybody for this. We just want them to comply so that they don't get sick and they don't get somebody else sick."
Chief Snellgrove says it's important for people to take the order seriously so folks won't put others in the community in harms way.
"This is a serious virus. It's infecting a lot of people. It's clogging up our healthcare system. Our first responders are out there. They're being exposed to it and the less anybody has to be exposed it, the better off we are. Anybody could have an underlying medical condition and it can cause a really serious problem for them or even maybe death for them. So you need to take that into account. You may not be saving your own life but you may be saving somebody else's life if you don't come in contact with them."