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SC governor' task force to reopen South Carolina meets again

Different members of AccelerateSC have been meeting all this week to propose ideas on reopening the economy.
Credit: AP
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster,AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster held another meeting with the group tasked with reopening the state's economy quickly and safely Thursday afternoon.

McMaster and Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette will led the AccelerateSC gathering in downtown Columbia.

This meeting was of the Resources component of Accelerate SC, which is in charge of determine how federal funds are distributed in the state. This component includes representatives from business, industry, higher education and health care. 

AccelerateSC is comprised of 5 components: Response, Protection, Governance, Resources, and Information.

On Wednesday, the group met mainly to talk about proposals to reopen businesses, including restaurants. Lizard's Thicket CEO Bobby Williams Jr., who's on the task force and chairs the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, said outdoor dining could start as early as Monday, May 4.

RELATED: South Carolina restaurants could reopen by mid-May, group says

Indoor dining could start two weeks later, on May 11, if the the outdoor dining works well. However, the restaurants would be under strict social distancing guidelines and rules on sanitation.  

McMaster did not commit to a date, but said if they were to meet the May 4 deadline, they'd have to work fast.  

About two hours after that group wrapped up that meeting, the Irmo Town Council discussed a proposal to reopen outdoor dining this weekend, about a day or two earlier that Williams' proposal. 

RELATED: Town of Irmo plans on outdoor restaurant seating as early as this weekend

On Tuesday, AccelerateSC discussed safety protocols for all citizens. Dr. Joan Duwve, South Carolina's Director of Public Health, said masking and testing are critically important.  

Dr. David Cole, president of the Medical University of South Carolina, said the need for more diagnostic and antibody testing is necessary to get a wider scope of how the virus spreads and how the state will be able reopen in the future.

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