COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced that K-12 schools will remain closed statewide through the month of April.
The governor and South Carolina Superintendent Molly Spearman are extending the current emergency order to keep students at home in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“At this time, students, parents, and families should plan for South Carolina’s schools to remain closed through the month of April. Our dedicated teachers and school administrators have done a tremendous job in making it possible for our students to learn at home. We understand that the prospect of schools remaining closed for an extended period of time places stress and strain on parents and children. Rest assured, if there is any way to safely open our schools earlier, we will do that, but schools must remain closed to protect the health and safety of South Carolinians," the two said in a joint statement.
McMaster originally ordered K-12 schools to remain closed until March 31.
The latest update from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control shows there are 298 confirmed cases in the state, with 16 cases in Horry County.
There have been five coronavirus-related deaths in South Carolina. One of the deaths was an elderly person with underlying health issues from Florence County.
In addition to taking daily precautions for preventing against the spread of the disease, residents can take the following preparedness recommendations:
- Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if you become symptomatic
- If you’re sick, stay home from work, school, and public events
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Don’t share personal items
- Clean frequently touched surfaces
- Set up a separate room for sick household members
- Check in with family and friends who live alone, especially those who may be in a high-risk group
Additionally, residents can prepare for a possible illness or quarantine by:
- Periodically checking regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply at home
- Having nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins
- Getting copies and maintaining electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference
- Talking with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.