Dr. Linda Bell expresses concern about COVID-19 in South Carolina

State - Regional

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — Governor McMaster and state health officials held a briefing on the response to COVID-19 Wednesday afternoon.

Dr. Linda Bell said she is more concerned about the virus in South Carolina than she has ever been. Bell said everyone’s help is needed by wearing masks in public and practicing social distancing.

“I ask everyone who’s listening to me now to see how you can help stop the spread of the virus so we can return to normal activities sooner rather than later,” Dr. Bell said.

Dr. Bell said seeing an increase in cases after Memorial Day weekend was not unexpected.

“There’s not only the protests but behaviors in communities where people are not paying attention to social distancing,” Dr. Bell said.

Gov. McMaster said he has no intentions to close down businesses again.

“What we need to do is practice social distancing,” Gov. McMaster said. “In other words, be smart. There’s a lot of stupid floating around out there.”

Gov. McMaster also said they are heavily suggesting the wearing of masks, but the government can’t mandate or enforce it. He said it is up to the individuals to comply. Gov. McMaster also said he plans to extend the state of emergency, which is set to expire Thursday.

McMaster also released his recommendations to the General Assembly Wednesday on how to invest CARES Act funds.

“Authorization for the disbursal of CRF funds should be done in two phases,” McMaster said. “The first phase done this month before the close of the fiscal year to address the most pressing and time sensitive needs. A second phase of needs can be addressed by the General Assembly at a later date.”

Read the full letter to the General Assembly here.

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