CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Gov. Henry McMaster said he has no plans to close any South Carolina beaches after pictures and videos throughout the state showed crowded beaches this past weekend.
City leaders for the Isle of Palms said Saturday’s large crowds and traffic backups caught them off guard. Many city officials say Saturday was the busiest they have ever seen the beach in terms of traffic backups.
On Tuesday afternoon, the governor held a press conference and said he had no current plans to close beaches in the state following the large turnout and also said law enforcement would be present at state beaches for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
“I have no plans [to close beaches] at this point, but law enforcement, as I mentioned earlier, will be on hand and they have the authority to disperse crowds if necessary if there’s a threat to health,” McMaster said.
The governor said South Carolina is in better condition compared to other states and referenced the fact that the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, praised South Carolina’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
McMaster said if everyone in the state follows the recommendations that have been given by him and AccelerateSC then there should not be another spike or a second wave of cases.
“But if we follow those guidelines, and we are cognizant of what each of us needs to do to stay safe, then we should be in very good shape," McMaster said."I’m confident in the ability of our people. We’ve seen it so far. We’re doing much better than if not all the states, at least most of the states.”
You can watch the presser below or click here. This story will be updated.
"We have to be just as careful now as we were before," McMaster said. "We now know the dimensions of the virus, we know it is highly contagious, we know it is highly deadly particularly if you're weak if you're older or have underlying conditions. We've learned a lot about it but we just have to be smart and we have to continue the social distancing. Those kind of practices are easy to do if you just remember."
He said if a new spike in cases were to appear, they are prepared to restore restrictions if necessary.
But he said he does not expect that to happen. He said if people follow the guidance and recommendations from his AccelerateSC task force, he does not expect there to be a spike.