Gov. McMaster encourages masks be worn in public, will not lift any more restrictions until cases decrease


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — At a media briefing Friday, Governor Henry McMaster declared a new state of emergency and said no more restrictions will be lifted until cases decrease.

McMaster said mandating masks is “impractical,” but strongly encouraged masks be worn in public.

“This is a dangerous, deadly disease,” McMaster said. “You’ve got to follow the rules. Wear your masks. Keep that distance from people. Wash your hands. Be careful. If you’re sick, go home.”

McMaster said cities can legally impose their own mask mandates, echoing what South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said Wednesday.

McMaster also said he asked DHEC to develop a plan to allow limited visitation at nursing homes for immediate family members only. He also said he may have to postpone elective surgeries again if cases continue to rise.

McMaster is not considering closing beaches again ahead of the 4th of July weekend, but DHEC recommends anyone who has gone to the beach to get tested, as they’ve “likely come in contact” with someone who is positive but asymptomatic.

School districts are also preparing for the 2020-2021 school year after receiving guidance from AccelerateED.

DHEC announced 1,273 new COVID-19 cases Friday with 18.3% of people tested Thursday testing positive, the highest number to date.


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