The COVID-19 pandemic is an extraordinary public health and policy challenge. The South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health (IMPH) is committed to providing analysis and updates on COVID-19 and what it means for our state. We urge all to stay informed and to practice social distancing in order to minimize the effects of this virus in our state. This page will be updated regularly with our newest work.
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."...
The South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) and the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) recently released the second joint brief examining the COVID-19 pandemic and state and federal policy changes that will impact residents. IMPH and...
North and South Carolina Institutes of Medicine Release Joint Brief on COVID-19 COLUMBIA, S.C. (April 9, 2020) - The rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic has brought much of the world to a halt as increasing infection rates have led to stronger federal, state and local...
2020-40 Official (PDF) | June 26, 2020 – State of Emergency: Amid the increasing cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina, Governor McMaster renewed the state of emergency which ended on June 11. This state of emergency will run for 15 days (July 10) to ensure quick responses to the growing COVID-19 outbreak in South Carolina.
2020-38 Official (PDF) | May 27, 2020 – State of Emergency to Facilitate Coordinated COVID-19 Pandemic Response: Governor Henry McMaster extends the state of emergency for South Carolina another 15 days (June 11) to ensure the state can react quickly in the fight against COVID-19. The first COVID-related state of emergency was issued on March 13 and the second on May 12.
2020-37 Official (PDF) | May 21, 2020 – Additional Incremental Modification of Non-Essential Business Closures: This Executive Order allows the reopening of close-contact businesses that were closed due to COVID-19 including entertainment venues, facilities, services and activities effective May 22, 2020.
2020-36 Official (PDF) | May 12, 2020 – Additional Modification of Non-Essential Business Closures: This executive order authorizes the re-opening of close contact businesses, venues and facilities which were previously deemed “non-essential.” Establishments that re-open will be subject to guidelines established by the CDC, DHEC and recommendations provided by acclerateSC.
2020-35 Official (PDF) | May 12, 2020 – State of Emergency to Facilitate COVID-19 Pandemic Response, Testing, & Other Measures: Governor Henry McMaster extends the state of emergency for South Carolina for 15 additional days (until May 27). The first COVID-related state of emergency order for South Carolina was issued on March 13.
2020-34 Official (PDF) | May 8, 2020 – Authorization of Limited Indoor Dining Services and Rescission of Boating Restrictions: Governor McMaster issues an executive order that will allow close contact businesses to reopen on May 18. This group of businesses includes barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, tattoo parlors and massage services. Commercial gyms can also open, including yoga studios, barre classes, and others.
2020-31 Official (PDF) | May 3, 2020 – Modification of Home or Work Order & Authorization of Outdoor Dining Services: In an effort to reopen the state, Governor McMaster lifted the ‘home or work’ order, which allowed citizens to only partake in essential activities. Along with this, restaurants will be allowed to serve customers outdoors starting Monday, May 4th.
2020-30 Official (PDF) | May 1, 2020 – Rescinding Self-Quarantine, Lodging, & Travel Restrictions for Individuals Entering S.C. from High-Risk Areas: This executive order ends mandatory self-quarantine, lodging and travel restrictions for individuals entering South Carolina from high risk areas.
2020-29 Official (PDF) | April 27, 2020 – State of Emergency Due to COVID-19 Pandemic Response, Other Measures: Governor McMaster issued a new state of emergency order for South Carolina on April 27, 2020. The new executive order will remain in effect for 15 days — until May 12 — unless the order is modified, amended, or rescinded. This is the third state of emergency order declared by McMaster since March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The previous state of emergency was set to expire on April 27.
2020-28 Official (PDF) | April 20, 2020 – Modification of Restrictions for Public Beaches & Waters & Incremental Modification of Non-Essential Business Closures: Governor McMaster re-opened the first wave of nonessential businesses to begin the revitalization of South Carolina’s economy including department stores, craft stores, jewelry stores, sporting goods stores, florists and flea markets. These stores must operate at 20% of their listed capacity or 5 customers per 1,000 square foot of store space. This order also reopens the state’s beaches with social distancing measures still in place.
2020-25 Official (PDF) | April 16, 2020 – Modification of Emergency Restrictions for Public Waters & Emergency Measures for Unemployment Claims & Benefits: This executive order is the first step in reopening our state, as public boat ramps to the lakes, rivers and the ocean can be reopened to facilitate outdoor exercise and recreational activity. Social distancing measures are still in place and groups of three are still subject to be broken up by law enforcement.
2020-23 Official (PDF) | April 12, 2020 – Third State of Emergency Due to COVID-19 Pandemic: Governor McMaster renewed the state of emergency, which maintains previous orders for another 15 days.
2020-22 Official (PDF) | April 7, 2020 – Authorization for COVID-19 Support Payments by Employers: Governor McMaster authorized and directed the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce to interpret furloughed employees due to COVID-19 as unemployed; therefore, being able to apply for unemployment benefits.
2020-21 Official (PDF) | April 6, 2020 – Home or Work Order: Governor McMaster ordered a mandatory home or work order where South Carolinians are to remain home unless they are visiting family, exercising or obtaining essential goods or services.
2020-19 Official (PDF) | April 3, 2020 – Lodging & Travel Restrictions for Individuals from High-Risk Areas: This order suspends short term rentals including hotels, vacation homes, condos and time shares for people traveling from CDC identified high-risk populations. (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the City of New Orleans)
2020-18 Official (PDF) | April 3, 2020 – Closure of Additional Non-Essential Businesses: Retail stores were deemed “non-essential” businesses and to be closed in conjunction with those of Executive Order 2020-17.
2020-17 Official (PDF) | March 31, 2020 – Closure of Non-Essential Businesses: Additional actions were taken to enforce social distancing through the closure of “non-essential” businesses, venues, facilities and close-contact service providers for 15 days.
2020-16 Official (PDF) | March 30, 2020 – Emergency Access Restrictions for Public Beaches & Waters Due to COVID-19 Pandemic: This order closed all public beach access points and public boat landings on state owned lakes.
2020-15 Official (PDF) | March 28, 2020 – State of Emergency Due to COVID-19 Pandemic: Public schools and publicly funded state colleges and universities are ordered to remain closed for students and non-essential employees through the month of April.
2020-14 Official (PDF) | March 27, 2020 – Self-Quarantine for Individuals from High-Risk Areas: Individuals who enter South Carolina from areas with substantial community spread, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the City of New Orleans to self-quarantine for 14 days from the time they enter the state.
2020-13 Official (PDF) | March 23, 2020 – Authorizing Law Enforcement to Preserve Public Health: Governor McMaster instructed law enforcement to disperse public gatherings of three or more people with violations resulting in a misdemeanor.
2020-12 Official (PDF) | March 21, 2020 – Regulatory Flexibility to Facilitate “Social Distancing”: This order facilitates social distancing practices to mitigate significant economic impacts on small businesses and restaurants and allows the sale of closed container beer and wine to-go.
2020-11 Official (PDF) | March 19, 2020 – Directing Additional Emergency Measures Due to COVID-19: All non -essential state employees were ordered to stay home from work or work from home. The General Assembly passed the $45 million funding for DHEC.
2020-10 Official (PDF) | March 17, 2020 – Directing Additional Emergency Measures Due to COVID-19: This executive order required the mandatory shutdown of all dine-in services for restaurants and bars. It also includes the delay of the state tax deadline to June 1st and decreased the public gathering recommendation to not exceed 50 people.
2020-09 Official (PDF) | March 15, 2020 – Closing Schools, Other Provisions in Response to COVID-19: Public schools and state-supported colleges and universities in the state were forced to close for students and non-essential employees through the end of March. The order also encourages public gatherings to not exceed 100 people.
2020-08 Official (PDF) | March 13, 2020 – Declaring State of Emergency in Response to COVID-19: Governor McMaster declared a State of Emergency along with announcing the closure of all public schools in Kershaw and Lancaster Counties. This order directs $45 million from the Contingency Reserve Fund to the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to aid in coordinating the State’s public health response to be allocated by the General Assembly.
2020-07 Official (PDF) | March 11, 2020 – Lifting Transportation Restrictions in Response to COVID-19: The first executive order in response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus directed state officials to convene with the Public Health Emergency Plan Committee and activated the South Carolina Emergency Operations Plan.
External Links to COVID-19 Resources
Alliance for a Healthier South Carolina:
Governor’s Press Office:
Palmetto Care Connections:
South Carolina Chamber of Commerce:
South Carolina Department of Education:
South Carolina Emergency Management Division:
South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce:
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control:
South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services:
South Carolina Department of Social Services:
South Carolina Office of Rural Health:
South Carolina Primary Health Care Association :
South Carolina Thrive: