CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered the closure of all non-essential business in South Carolina in order to combat the spread of COVID-19.
McMaster said the executive order will go into place on April 1. The businesses that will be closed as a result of the governor’s executive order are as follows:
Entertainment venues and facilities as follows:
- Night clubs
- Bowling alleys
- Concert venues
- Theaters, auditoriums, and performing arts centers
- Tourist attractions (including museums, aquariums, and planetariums)
- Indoor children’s play areas (excluding daycare facilities)
- Adult entertainment venues
- Bingo halls
- Venues operated by social clubs
Recreational and athletic facilities and activities as follows:
- Fitness and exercise centers and commercial gyms
- Spas and public or commercial swimming pools
- Group exercise facilities, to include yoga, barre, and spin studios or facilities
- Spectator sports
- Sports that involve interaction with another person in close proximity and within less than six (6) feet of another person
- Activities that require the use of shared sporting apparatus and equipment
- Activities on commercial or public playground equipment
Close-contact service providers as follows:
- Barber shops
- Hair salons
- Waxing salons
- Threading salons
- Nail salons and spas
- Body-art facilities and tattoo services
- Tanning salons
- Massage-therapy establishments and massage services
The executive order will be in effect for 15 days, however the governor said that could change if conditions change.
According to state government officials, if a business is not explicitly addressed in the governor’s executive order, the business should continue normal operations until a determination is made.
McMaster acknowledged that there will be people put out of work by the order, but was hopeful the federal government will step in and bring assistance to those affected.
“And that's one of the regrettable things about this is there's going to be some dislocation,” he said.”We’re hopeful the federal authorities, and what you've heard the president and others announce, are going to provide some financial assistance in those areas.”
The governor said the businesses outlined in the order were those he and others felt would achieve the biggest impact with the least disruption, and described them as “close contact” businesses, venues, and activities.
McMaster said the order was done with the recommendations of experts and data, and mentioned a report by the CDC that someone with the virus might not show symptoms for up to 48 hours.
According to the governor, the non-essential businesses in his executive order have “high contact” in sometimes “very close quarters.”
“We know it’s a disruption for a lot of people, but we think that in our approach, which is to maximize our efforts aggressively against the disease and attempting to avoid all but necessary dislocations, is the right path to follow,” he said.
There was some also discussion during the press conference regarding the governor’s order to not include daycare centers in the order since McMaster had ordered the shutdown of public schools.
The governor said that it was an essential business that people needed.
“There’s a great demand for daycare centers,” McMaster said. ”People depend on them and they can’t work without them. We would like them to stay open within the kind of limits that have been pronounced by health authorities.”
That word came from State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell at a news conference from the South Carolina Emergency Operations Center.
Cases now span across 42 of the state’s 46 counties.
This brings the state’s total number of deaths to 22.
Three patients were elderly individuals who also had underlying health conditions, and one patient was a middle-aged individual who did not have underlying health conditions.
They were residents of Aiken, Calhoun, Marion, and York counties.