April 20, 2020
At his press conference today, Gov. McMaster said he was lifting his executive order of March 30 that closed South Carolina’s public beaches, docks, piers and wharfs, effective noon April 21. He said the decision to reopen public beaches now lay with local elected leaders, such as mayors or city councils.
He said those going to beaches must follow social distancing guidelines, such as not more than three people in a group, except for immediate family.
He also announced that the businesses that closed under his April 3 order – such as department stores, furniture stores, florists, jewelry stores, book stores – can reopen effective 5 p.m. today. Those businesses must follow the same social distancing guidelines as grocery and hardware stores – no more than 20% capacity or 5 persons per 1,000 square feet.
Dr. Linda Bell said that new modeling projections indicate that South Carolina may have reached its peak deaths on April 9, and peak of hospital bed utilization on April 15. Although she expressed extreme caution, Dr. Bell said that the curve in South Carolina “may have begun to level.”
Total positive cases, South Carolina: 4,439
Total positive cases, Beaufort County: 225
Total deaths, South Carolina: 124
Total deaths, Beaufort County: 6
DHEC Covid-19 data site
McMaster also announced that his task force, Accelerate SC, has 29 participants from all sectors of the economy, and will begin meeting regularly to focus on restarting the state’s economy.