COLUMBIA, S.C. — Governor Henry McMaster has expanded his order to close more non-essential businesses, but did not issue a state-at-home order yet.
McMaster gave an update at the state's emergency operations center. WLTX has live coverage in the video player above, on TV, and on the News19 WLTX Facebook page.
McMaster's issued two new executive orders. The first, and most expansive, was to shut down more buildings. Among those included are the following: furniture stores, department stores, clothing stores, shoe stores, jewelry stores, florists, sporting goods stores, book an music stores, luggage stores, and home furnishing stores.
However, that list excludes hardware stores and home improvement stores. The order goes into effect at 5 p.m. on Monday, April 6.
His second order goes into effect immediately. It stops rentals at hotels and similar facilities for people coming into the state from coronvirus "hotspots." That excludes medical, military, shipping, and first responders.
Again, McMaster did not issue a statewide 'stay-at-home' order. Multiple politicians, including mayors and state legislators, have asked McMaster to reconsider his stance and issue one.
But McMaster said he feels the state's approach so far is the right one, and is based on the science.
"We have a deliberate, steady plan approach," he said. "We believe this is the best way based on the science and facts and we will go as far as we need to go."
He said South Carolina is not like every other state. "We're taking a deliberate approach to be aggressive at the right time."
He continued to urge social distancing.
“I urge people again, please stay home,” said. “Stay home, be careful, keep that social distance, use hygiene.”
South Carolina is one of just a handful of states which hasn't. On Wednesday, two other states who'd held out on issuing those orders, Florida and Georgia, finally put those restrictions in place.
In the last week, he ordered many non-essential businesses to close and shuttered beaches and public boat ramps statewide. On Friday, he said ordered the state's health agency to release coronavirus numbers by zip code, including estimates of those who have symptoms but are unaware.
Latest case numbers:
There were 147 new cases reported Friday, putting the total cases up to 1,700 statewide. There were 3 new death, bringing the state total to 34.
Coronavirus Basic Facts
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as pneumonia.
People can help to prevent the spread of the virus in the following ways:
- wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. And, always wash your hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.
- avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- stay home when you’re sick.
- cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue and put it in the trash immediately.
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
For residents concerned about their own personal health or are showing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please call your personal doctor or healthcare provider. DHEC has launched its Care Line. If residents have general questions about COVID-19, the DHEC Care Line is here to help. Call 1-855-472-3432. Staff are answering calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call volume has been high. Callers are urged to be patient if they receive a busy signal and try their call at a later time.