McMaster not issuing stay-at-home order, says South Carolina is unique

McMaster speaking during a press conference on Friday afternoon.
McMaster speaking during a press conference on Friday afternoon.(Live 5 News)
Updated: Apr. 3, 2020 at 10:45 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Although nearby states in the southeast region have issued stay-at-home orders, Gov. Henry McMaster said he’s not presently planning on issuing one, and partly based the decision on South Carolina being unique to other states in comparison to populations and cases of COVID-19.

Regarding Georgia, McMaster pointed out that in Atlanta there were more people there than in our state.

He also said New Orleans has become a hot spot for the virus in a “very short period of time,” while South Carolina has not.

“Every state is different,” McMaster said.”They have different economies. They have different resources. They have different medical facilities. We are taking a deliberate approach to be as aggressive as we possibly can at the right time.”

The governor said the decisions that have been made and will be made will be those that follow the “data and science” that state officials have been receiving.

“South Carolina is unique,” he said. ”Our people, our structure is unique. Every state is not like every other state.”

The governor said when and if the time comes to issue a stay-at-home order or any other order he said he will issue it.

McMaster said nothing was off the table and the state is currently going through a “deliberate plan” to keep South Carolinians safe and doing whatever it takes to achieve that goal.

The governor pointed out that he has urged people from the start to stay at home, and the state has alerted the public through highway signs and an emergency alert that was sent to phones.

“And that's why we are urging people to listen to the professionals in our state, stay at home for goodness sake,” he said. “Stay at home if you don't have to be out. Stay at home and be a good neighbor, remind other people about social distancing and other things that are required.”

He said he has received feedback regarding a stay-at-home order and other orders that have been in place.

“We are following the advice of professionals, we are taking a very deliberate approach to say that we do the right thing at the right time to protect the people of this state,” he said.

Watch Live: S.C. governor holding news conference on COVID-19

Posted by Live 5 News on Friday, April 3, 2020

State health officials also announced on Friday three additional deaths related to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

This brings the state’s total number of deaths to 34, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The three patients were elderly individuals who also had underlying health conditions. Two were residents of Richland County and one of Greenville County.

DHEC also is reporting 147 additional cases of COVID-19.

As of today, the total number statewide is 1,700 cases in all 46 counties.

Charleston County has the most positive cases in the state with 247 cases followed by Richland County with 224 cases.

Currently, there have been 7,477 coronavirus tests with 5,777 testing negative and 1,700 testing positive.

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