CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Two Upstate lawmakers are urging Gov. Henry McMaster to issue a "stay at home" order for South Carolinians now that the novel coronavirus has reached the "acceleration stage."
Rep. Neal Collins tweeted a copy of a letter he co-wrote with Rep. Gary Clary Tuesday night. In the letter, they say they commend McMaster and everyone in the governor’s office for their “tireless effort” on behalf of South Carolinians.
They praised McMaster's announcement on March 15 to close all public schools through March 31.
"During your announcement," they wrote, "we immediately started urging for a stay at home order. As current or former partners in small business law firms, we understand the damage to our economy and local businesses. However, the damage to South Carolina will be more profound if we do not slow the growth of those infected."
They are calling on McMaster to issue an order that does the following:
- Close all businesses except essential stores and services.
- Include in closings businesses that are nonprofits, daycare facilities, gyms and churches.
- Close all K-12 schools, colleges, universities and technical schools for the rest of the school year.
- Implement emergency daycare sites for essential government and stores' employees.
- Discourage interaction outside of immediate family. Encourage solo recreation.
- Delay the June state primaries and all local elections until August.
- Encourage the General Assembly to use surplus funds for public health and basic needs.
- Remove any obstacles to conduct business remotely.
“Aggressive action will slow the growth and buy us precious time to prepare,” the letter states. “It will return us to normalcy sooner.”
The state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 44 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the total statewide to 342 across 36 of the state’s 46 counties. DHEC also reported two additional deaths, bringing the state’s total to seven.