McMaster declares state of emergency for S.C.; 1 new possible COVID-19 case announced

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency throughout the state to enhance its response to the coronavirus’ impact, a press release stated.

Citing the fact that Kershaw and Lancaster counties are the only areas in the state in which there is evidence of community spread of the virus, McMaster's order will also direct that schools in those counties will be closed for a period of 14 days, according to the release.

Additionally, the governor’s order will direct the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to consult with the state's Superintendent of Education and local school district leadership to provide guidance on if and when remaining school districts should decide to close schools and for what period of time.

Other actions to be included in the governor's executive order are:

  • All state government offices shall remain open for operation during their normal business hour
  • Visitation at state and local correctional facilities in all 46 counties shall be suspended immediately
  • DHEC shall immediately restrict visitation to nursing homes and assisted living facilities with the exception of end of life situations
  • State price gouging laws shall go into effect immediately
  • The State Emergency Management Plan shall be activated

DHEC announced during the news conference that there is a new presumptive case in South Carolina. Officials said it is a woman from the Camden area in Kershaw County and had been in close contact with a known coronavirus case. The patient has been evaluated and is in self-isolation.

As of Friday, there are seven presumptive cases and six confirmed cases, bringing the total number to 13. Presumptive cases mean that the person tested positive in DHEC’s lab, but it still needs to be confirmed by the CDC.

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