Status of Stay-at-Home order
- Gov. Henry McMaster announced a statewide “home or work” order, effective April 7 at 5 p.m. The order required South Carolinians to remain “at home or work unless visiting family, exercising or obtaining essential goods or services.” McMaster lifted the order on May 4.
McMaster issued an executive order removing restrictions on public access points to state’s beaches, piers, docks and wharfs while giving local officials the authority to restrict access if needed, effective April 21 at noon.
The order also reopens certain retail stores beginning 5:00 p.m. on April 20, and requires them to adhere to strict social distancing requirements. Examples of operational retailers include furniture stores, clothing and shoe stores, book and craft stores, flea markets, florists and department stores except for hardware and home improvement stores.
Once the “home or work” order expired on May 4, restaurants were able to resume outdoor customer dining services in line with sanitation and social distancing guidelines. As of May 11, restaurants can choose to reopen for limited dine-in services if they follow state guidelines, including capping indoor occupancy at 50%.
McMaster lifted restrictions on boating statewide, effective May 8.
Close contact service providers, fitness and exercise centers, commercial gyms — including group exercise classes — and public or commercial pools can open in a limited capacity beginning May 18. The state has issued general guidelines for close contact service providers, as well as specific guidelines for cosmetology establishments, pools and fitness centers.
McMaster announced a phased-in return of state government workers to their offices beginning in early June.
Beginning May 22, attractions including zoos, museums, aquariums, planetariums, historic sites, water parks, amusement park rides, Go-Kart tracks, bingo facilities and miniature golf facilities can reopen.
Youth and adult sports leagues can practice as of May 30, with competitive play allowed to resume on June 15.
A June 11 executive order continues the state of emergency, while lifting occupancy limits on retail businesses and allowing bowling alleys to open with restrictions.
Closed, canceled and delayed
- McMaster announced on July 2 that he had directed officials to postpone the release of guidelines allowing limited visitation at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, due an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Testing and tracing
- On May 20, health officials announced a plan to ramp up statewide COVID-19 testing to 110,000 tests per month in May and June. The plan includes testing all nursing home residents and staff.
Relief and resources
- An executive order extended the state’s income tax deadline to July 15, in line with the new federal income tax deadline.
- McMaster issued an executive order allowing furloughed employees to qualify for unemployment benefits.
- On April 20, McMaster announced the creation of “accelerateSC,” a five-component economic revitalization plan. The accelerate.sc.gov website, a “one-stop-shop” for COVID-19 help and information, launched on May 5.
- McMaster signed a bill allowing every eligible voter in the state to request absentee ballots for the June 9 primaries and their runoffs.
- McMaster’s proposal for allocating CARES Act funding recommends a minimum $500 million investment in the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.