Governor shuts down schools, urges limits on gatherings; 3 coronavirus cases in Horry County


WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – Governor McMaster has ordered the closing of all schools in the state of South Carolina starting Monday.

Schools will remain closed through the end of the month, the governor said. That includes PreK-12 public schools, colleges, universities and technical colleges.

McMaster also urged public gatherings both indoors and outdoors be limited to 100 people or less. He said this was a strong recommendation, not a mandate at this point. That doesn’t include state government meetings, businesses, or employees.

The governor also announced that elections will be postponed until after May 1. Candidates, though can continue as normal and elections offices will operate as normal.

McMaster requested Saturday that utilities not disconnect essential services through the end of the state of emergency.

Temporary licenses can be established for medical care officials within 24 hours. There is not a fee for these licenses and they’ll last for 90 days.

The governor also emphasized that there is no shortage on testing capabilities in South Carolina. He said the DHEC and private labs have more than adequate supplies to conduct all the tests needed. DHEC will be resupplied with tests at some point this week.

The FDA approved MUSC Sunday for COVID-19 testing. The medical organization will likely start processing tests in their lab by the end of the week.

DHEC also said during the news conference it is investigating three cases of COVID-19 in Horry County.

Two of the cases were reported from commercial labs, according to a release from DHEC. These cases are elderly individuals who had known exposure to a confirmed case if COVID-19 from another state. These cases are currently isolated at home.

The other case in Horry County is also an elderly individual. The release said an investigation is underway on this case.

News13 reported Sunday that a patient at Grand Strand Medical Center was in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 Saturday night.

There is a total of 28 presumptive and confirmed cases in South Carolina as of Sunday at 5 p.m.

State Superintendent Molly Spearman talked about accommodations for students and parents amid school closures.

Federal officials have given permission for summer feeding options to be used during this closure.

Spearman also said the department is encouraging districts to drop off instructional materials along bus routes for those unable to pick up at school.

The state is also working to equip buses with WiFi for those without internet access.

Count on News13 for updates.

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