MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster’s ‘Home or Work’ order is now in effect.
McMaster said he put this order into effect because of how many people were on the roads, on the water and in stores, and not adhering to the government’s request for social distancing.
So far, 42 states have issued a full stay-at-home order. This new executive order in S.C. could be considered a partial stay-at-home order by some.
Essentially what this means is all South Carolinians must stay at home or work unless visiting family, exercising or shopping for essential goods.
During a Tuesday press conference, Horry County Police Chief Joe Hill said they’ll enforce the orders on a case by case basis.
He said you can exercise on the beach, but only by accessing it through a private pathway. Public access is still closed. However, if you’re out at night and aren’t doing essential activities, Hill said there’s a chance you’ll get pulled over or questioned by police.
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Meanwhile, Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune said city police plan to enforce the order the same way they’ve done with others.
“With the help of the regulatory unit and education, voluntary compliance, citation and ticketing if needed,” Bethune said. “Of course that’s not what they want to have to do, but they are willing to do that for those who are not complying with these orders.”
The order is more restrictive but local and state officials agree it’s what’s needed in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.
“This is going to be a challenging month we all know that," state Rep. Russell Fry said. “But, with the actions taken now, you slow that spread, you inhibit the virus’ ability to spread from person to person and run rampant through this state.”
“Follow the orders and stay at home. The sooner we stay apart from each other, the sooner we can get back together. We just need people to stay safe, stay positive and stay at home,” Bethune said.
For those retail stores that are still open, new rules are in place.
The governor ordered all retail businesses still open to limit customers by only allowing five customers per 1,0000 square feet, or 20% of their posted capacity in a store, whichever is less.
“We hope that this order today (Monday) will reduce the rising rate of infection and also reduce the rate of non-compliance and also reduce the number of people who are losing their jobs because of these necessary orders,” McMaster said.
For those who don’t follow this new order, there are consequences in place: a fine of no more than $100, or up to 30 days in jail with a misdemeanor charge.
Some of the essential activities residents can still do with this order are caring or traveling with a family member as long as recommendations provided from the Centers for Disease Control are in place in regards to social distancing, or buying necessary items like food or medicine. However, curbside pick-up or delivery options are preferred.
Many may be asking,“Why now?” It’s something the governor addressed during Monday’s conference.
“Why are we doing this now? Why not wait later, why not have done it earlier? That is because it is time,” he said. “According to the data, according to the science, according to the facts and according to the expert advise and guidance.”
The order is effective at 5 p.m. Tuesday.