South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said Saturday that ordering South Carolinians to shelter in place because of the coronavirus pandemic is not under consideration at this time.
“Team South Carolina is constantly reviewing the COVID-19 situation, and all plans and contingencies to contain this virus remain on the table,” McMaster said in a news release. “That includes 'shelter-in-place,' a drastic action that other states with larger population centers have taken. It is my hope that this will not be necessary here, and I believe it to be much less likely, as long as South Carolinians follow official instructions and take recommended precautions now.”
S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 46 new cases statewide Saturday, including one in Edgefield County. That brings South Carolina's total number of cases to 173 in 30 counties as of March 21.
Kershaw County, to the north of Columbia, has the most reported cases in the state with 43. Officials have said some of the COVID-19 cases there were due to “community spread."
Aiken County reported its first coronavirus case on Friday, according to DHEC.
No details on the gender or age of the patient from Aiken County have been released.
The governor also announced additional measures Saturday in the state’s response to the pandemic.
The governor has asked construction contractors and others in the skilled trade industry to donate personal protective equipment they can spare to healthcare professionals and state agencies.
The governor has also directed the Department of Revenue to waive additional regulations in order to allow restaurants to include sealed containers of beer and wine for curbside pickup or “to-go” orders only. It does not authorize or apply to open containers or delivery services.
The governor also extended the state’s income tax deadline to July 15, which is the new federal income tax deadline. Other state taxes will remain delayed until June 1, as previously ordered.
To help provide supplies for health care providers responding to COVID-19, South Carolina requested its full allocation of medical equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile.
DHEC received the first shipment of N-95 masks, face shields, surgical masks, gowns and gloves. Additional shipments may continue over the next three weeks.
DHEC continues to work with federal, state and local partners to respond to the emerging coronavirus outbreak. DHEC is investigating multiple cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina.