Doctors urge caution as S.C. relaxes COVID-19 restrictions for bars, large gatherings

Coronavirus

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A couple coronavirus restrictions in South Carolina have been lifted as cases continue to fall.

Gov. Henry McMaster lifted his executive order requiring restaurants and bars to stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m.

“We’re in a much better place than we were a few weeks ago,” said Dr. Paul Richardson, chief medical officer at Conway Medical Center (CMC). “That does not mean COVID is gone by any stretch of the imagination.”

Large gatherings of more than 250 people also will no longer require approval from the state.

“If we get together, maybe it’s an outdoor gathering, just be socially smart as we start to peel back some of these regulations, understanding we may see an uptick,” said Dr. Richardson. “I hope not. I hope I’m wrong.”

Dr. Richardson says we still need to wear masks and social distance to continue seeing COVID-19 cases decline.

“I think the combination of all these things have actually kind of led us to where we are now, into a much better place,” he said.

The restrictions being lifted comes as researchers from Harvard University and Brown University say South Carolina has the second-highest daily case rate in the country, only behind Rhode Island.

“We still have to keep doing what we’re doing and still got to keep vaccinating and that kind of thing, in order to take advantage of this momentum,” Dr. Richardson said.

Dr. Richardson also says CMC’s hospitalizations have dramatically fallen as well, with only about 10 COVID-positive patients in the last couple weeks.

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