Nearly 300 COVID-19 cases in SC; governor says police can disperse gatherings of 3 or more people
298 cases in 34 counties
SPEAK ABOUT SOUTH CAROLINA’S RESPONSE. GOV. MCMASTER: HOLLY MAY IS SIGNING TODAY ASSISTED BY LESLIE. THANK YOU. JEFF AND JOHN DENNY, IF YOU PLEASE.>> THANK YOU, GOVERNOR. VICTOR FRANKEL WROTE THE LAST OF HUMAN FREEDOMS IS THE ABILITY TO CHOOSE ONE’S ATTITUDE IN A GIVEN SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES. PLEASE PRAY WITH ME. GRACIOUS LORD, DURING THIS TIME OF UNCERTAINTY, HELP US TO CHO OSE TO HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF THANKFULNESS AND GRATITUDE. YOUR WORD SAYS FOR US TO GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. NOT JUST GOOD TIMES BUT IN ROUGH TIMES AS WELL. HELP US TO CHOOSE TO BE GRATEFUL, EVEN WHEN THE SPIRIT OF GRUMBLING IS UPON US. LORD, I PRAY FOR YOUR COMFORT, FOR THE FAMILIES AFFECTED BY THIS VIRUS. HELP US TO STAY STEADFAST AND UNITED. WE HUMBLY ASK THIS IN YOUR HOLY NAME. GOV. MCMASTER: I AM HAPPY TO REPORT THAT SOUTH CAROLINA IS MAKING GREAT PROGRESS. WE ARE WORKING TOGETHER IN A WAY THAT WE SEE IN THESE EMERGENCY SITUATIONS AND IT IS COMFORTING TO SEE IT HAPPENING AGAIN WITH THIS UNPRECEDENTED SITUATION. WE HAVE AN UPDATE IN A NUMBER OF AREAS. WE ASK THE EMPLOYEES TO WORK AT HOME. WE HAVE 15,812, ALMOST 50-50. WE ARE HOPEFUL THAT WE CAN MOVE THAT 50-50 NUMBER UP TO 75% IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS OR SO. THE CLOSENESS AND THE INEVITABILITY OF CONTACT ON SURFACES AND THINGS MAKING THIS VIRUS SO DANGEROUS. ALL PLANS AND CONTINGENCIES ARE ON THE TABLE. THAT INCLUDES THE SHELTER-IN-PLACE ORDER WHICH WE HAVE NOT ISSUED. THAT IS A DRASTIC ACTION AND WE HOPE THAT WILL NOT BE NECESSARY. MANY SOUTH CAROLYN ARE TAKING PRECAUTIONS THAT WILL RENDER THAT UNNECESSARY. THEY ARE STAYING HOME AND USING GOOD HYGIENE. THEY ARE USING COMMON SENSE. IT’S HARD TO NOT TOUCH THINGS AND NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE WHICH LEADS TO THE RESPIRATORY PART OF THIS, YOU MUST KEEP WASHING YOUR HANDS ALL DAY LONG. KEEP THAT SOCIAL DISTANCE FROM OTHERS SO THAT YOU ARE NOT SPREADING THINGS BY CONTACT AND BY SNEEZING AND COUGHING. FOR ALL OF THOSE OUT THERE WORKING SO HARD, ON BEHALF OF THE REST OF US I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU VERY MUCH. WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO IT WITH MORE VIGOR AND WANT TO SET AS GOOD AN EXAMPLE AS YOU CAN FOR ALL OF OUR FEDERAL CITIZENS. MANY PEOPLE ARE NOT USING COMMON SENSE. I’M RUBBING NOT MY EYE BUT RIGHT UNDER MY EYE. I JUST WASHED MY HANDS. THAT’S ABOUT THE ONLY WAY THAT YOU SHOULD BE TOUCHING YOUR FACE. A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE NOT DOING THAT. A LOT OF PEOPLE CONGREGATING. A LOT OF PEOPLE GOING INTO THE PARKING LOTS, GOING TO SHOPPING CENTERS AND THINGS LIKE THAT. I WANT TO ASK EVERYONE TO REDOUBLE THEIR EFFORTS TO SEE THAT WE DO NOT JAM PEOPLE TOGETHER, THAT WE DON’T PUT OTHERS IN THAT IMMEDIATE CONTACT . THAT IS HOW IT CAN SPREAD BY TOUCHING EACH OTHER AND GOING ON YOUR HANDS. I’M ISSUING ANOTHER EXECUTIVE ORDER UNDER THIS STATE OF EMERGENCY. THERE IS A STATE STATUTE AND I WANT TO MAKE EVERYONE AWARE OF IT NOW. HEREBY AUTHORIZING, ORDERING AND DIRECTING ANY AND ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS OF THE STATE OR ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE SOUTH CAROLINA CODE OF LAWS AND OTHER APPLICABLE LAWS TO PROHIBIT OR DISPERSE ANY CONGREGATION OR GATHERING OF PEOPLE IN LESS AUTHORIZED IN THEIR HOMES, IN GROUPS OF THREE OR MORE. IF THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS DETERMINED IN THEIR DISCRETIO — IT IS SIMILAR TO A PUBLIC NUISANCE STATUTE, SIMILAR TO A CIVIL STATUTE, THIS IS A MISDEMEANOR. THIS WOULD APPLY TO A LOT OF THINGS. IT WOULD APPLY TO PARTIES ON THE BEACH, TO BOISTEROUS GATHERINGS OR CONCERTS, TO SPONTANEOUS GATHERINGS, UNRULY GATHERINGS, THOSE ARE THE TYPES OF THINGS AND WE HAVE ALL SEEN THEM. WHAT IT IS NOT INTENDED TO APPLY TO IS LAW-ABIDING BUSINESSES OR EMPLOYERS. WE WILL KNOW IT WHEN WE SEE IT, AND LAW OFFICERS HAVE THIS AUTHORITY BY STATE LAW AND UNDER THIS STATE OF EMERGENCY I’M ASKING THEM TO RECOMMEND IT VIGOROUSLY ACCORDING TO THEIR DISCRETION. WE MUST NOT HAVE THESE SORTS OF GATHERINGS WHICH ARE INDICATIONS FOR INFECTION. WE ARE ASKED — ASKING CONTRACTOR COMPANIES TO GO THROUGH THEIR MATERIALS TO SEE IF THERE IS PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT THAT THEY CAN DONATE TO THE HOSPITAL AND OTHERS AND THEY HAVE COME FORWARD IN A BIG WAY. THESE INCLUDE SLOAN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, HOOD CONSTRUCTION, DR. HARTON PROFESSIONAL BUILDING SUPPLY, BUILDER’S FIRST SOURCE. WE KNOW THERE ARE OTHERS COMING IN AS WELL. THAT IS THE SOUTH CAROLINA SPIRIT THAT IS SO ALIVE AND WELL IN THIS EMERGENCY AS WELL IS IN OTHERS WHEN WE HAVE HURRICANES AND FLOODS. ACCORDING TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, THE SOUTH CAROLINA HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION, WE ASKED TO MOVE PEOPLE OUT AND PUT OFF ELECTIVE SURGERY. IF IT IS NOT URGENT, PUT THAT OFF TO LEAVE THE BEDS AVAILABLE FOR THOSE WHO MAY BE COMING IN AS A RESULT OF THE VIRUS. WE HAVE 56% MORE VACANT HOSPITAL BEDS THAN THERE WERE WHEN I ASKED THE HOSPITAL TO SUSPEND THOSE PROCEDURES TUESDAY AFTERNOON FOR –. MORE BEDS AVAILABLE TO HANDLE THAT THAN THERE WERE SIX DAYS AGO. ALL WORKING WITH THE NATIONAL GUAR I ASKED RETAILERS TO SET ASIDE SPECIAL SENIOR HOURS SO SENIOR CITIZENS CAN GO IN WITHOUT THE RUSH OF OTHER CUSTOMERS. WE HAVE HAD RESPONSES, SETTING ASIDE SENIOR TIMES FOR SHOPPING. ALDI, COSTCO, HARRIS TEETER, FOODS, WALMART, W LEE FLOWERS, AND FOOD LINE. THAT IS A REMARKABLE RESPONSE TO THAT REQUEST. 91 SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION LOAN APPLICATIONS HAVE BEEN MADE BY SOUTH CAROLINIANS SINCE THE STATE WAS APPROVED THREE DAYS AGO AND OUR ENTIRE STATE HAS BEEN APPROVED. I WANT TO SAY AGAIN, TO ALL OF THE CITIZENS IN SOUTH CAROLINA, IF YOU DON’T NEED TO BE IN A PUBLIC PLACE, IF YOU DON’T NEED TO BE OUT, DON’T GO OUT. THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO STAY HOME. THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS WE NEED TO DO AT HOME. THERE MUST BE 1001 THINGS. WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR SOME TIME TO DO IT. THE TIME HAS ARRIVED. STAY HOME IF YOU CAN. DON’T BE IN A PUBLIC PLACE. WE MUST ALL ASSUME THAT WE HAVE THE VIRUS AND WE MUST ALL ASSUME THAT THE PEOPLE WE ARE TALKING TO HAVE THE VIRUS. IF WE TAKE THOSE PRECAUTIONS, CHANCES ARE THAT VIRUS IS NOT GOING TO SPREAD. WASH YOUR HANDS. KEEP YOUR HANDS AWAY FROM YOUR EYES, YOUR NOSE, YOUR MOUTH. YOU COME INTO CONTACT WITH THE STEERING WHEEL, A DOORKNOB THAT SOME HE TOUCHED THE DAY BEFORE, YOU SCRATCH YOUR EYE AND THERE YOU GO. IT IS A STRONG VIRUS AND IT LASTS A LONG TIME PARTICULARLY ON STEEL AND PLASTIC. DON’T HOARD SUPPLIES. THE GROCERY STORES WILL BE OPEN. THERE IS NO NEED TO HOARD SUPPLIES. IT’S AS WILD AS THEY CAN BE. THIS IS WHAT THEY GET FROM OFFICIAL SOURCES AND NOT FROM ANY PLACE ELSE. I KNOW INSTITUTIONS ARE DOING THE SAME THING AND I WANT TO THANK THE CITIZENS FOR WORKING SO HARD AND I WANT TO URGE THOSE THAT DON’T YET SEEM TO HAVE A GRIP ON HOW SERIOUS THIS IS, THINK IT OVER. BE COURTEOUS, BE SAFE, AND LET’S DON’T BE SORRY.>> THANK YOU, GOVERNOR. GOOD AFTERNOON. AS OF TODAY, SOUTH CAROLINA HAS CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19 IN 34 COUNTIES ACROSS THE STATE. TODAY WE HAVE REPORTED RECEIVING 295 CONFIRMED CASES FROM OUR PUBLIC HEALTH LABORATORY AND PRIVATE LABORATORIES. SADLY, THIS INCLUDES FIVE REPORTED DEATHS OF PATIENTS WHO HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN REPORTED TO US AS BEING DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19, TWO WERE REPORTED EARLIER TODAY. EACH OF THESE PATIENTS WERE ELDERLY AND HAD UNDERLYING CONDITIONS. WE WANT TO EXPRESS OUR DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO THE FAMILY AND LOVED ONES OF THESE PATIENTS. THIS IS A REMINDER OF THE IMPORTANCE — PEOPLE WITH SERIOUS UNDERLYING CONDITIONS. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CDC THE UNITED STATES IS IN THE INITIATION PHASE OF A FOR — OF A PANDEMIC. THIS IS BASED ON THE PANDEMIC INTERVAL FRAMEWORK DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE COUNTRY ARE SEEING DIFFERENT LEVELS OF COVID-19 TRANSMISSION. THE U.S. IS CURRENTLY ON THE INITIATION PHASE. STATES WHERE COMMUNITY SPREAD IS OCCURRING ARE IN THE ACCELERATION PHASE. THIS WOULD INCLUDE SOUTH CAROLINA. THE ACCELERATION PHASE MEANS THE NEED FOR THE TRANSMISSION FROM CONTACT INVESTIGATIONS OF EACH INDIVIDUAL TO PRIORITIZED INVESTIGATIONS AROUND THOSE AT THE HIGHEST RISK OF BEING EXPOSED. IN A BROADER COMMUNITY FOCUSED MEASURE AS WHAT WE’RE DOING NOW. REALIZING THAT SPREAD IS OCCURRING, WE ENCOURAGE THE PUBLIC TO FOCUS ON THINGS WE CAN DO TO LIMIT THE SPREAD. AVOIDING GROUPS AND ESPECIALLY STAYING HOME. AS THE LEAD PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCY IN SOUTH CAROLINA, ONE OF DX’ PRIMARY MISSIONS IS TO PROTECT AND PROMOTE THE HEALTH OF THE PUBLIC. ONE THING THAT HELPS US CARRY OUT THAT MISSION IS SURVEILLANCE OF DISEASE TRANSMISSIONS. OUR PRINCIPAL JOB IS TO COLLECT INFORMATION ABOUT WHERE DISEASES ARE OCCURRING, TO ANALYZE THE DATA, AND TO INTERPRET AND SHARE INFORMATION THAT PREVENTS THE SPREAD OF DISEASE. WE UNDERSTAND THE INCREASING INTEREST IN EACH COMMUNITY, BUT I BELIEVE THE DESIRE FOR THIS INFORMATION ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS HAS LED TO COMPLACENCY IN AREAS WHERE WE DON’T HAVE INFORMATION ABOUT DISEASE BEING SPREAD. IT GIVES A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY TO RELY ON INFORMATION OR INDIVIDUALS WITHIN YOUR COMMUNITY. WHAT IS RECOMMENDED IS TO FOLLOW THE GUIDANCE THAT HAS BEEN PROVIDED REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT YOU KNOW CASES ARE IN YOUR COMMUNITY OR YOUR SPECIFIC NEIGHBORHOOD. IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED WE SHOULD NOT TAKE SERIOUSLY THE MEASURES PREVIOUSLY RECOMMENDED BECAUSE CASES HAVE NOT BEEN IDENTIFIED IN THEIR COMMUNITIES. THIS IS WHY SPREAD CONTINUES TO OCCUR. IF WE CHANGE BEHAVIOR, WE CAN SLOW THE SPREAD AND STOP TRANSMISSION. THIS WILL BE AN EXTENDED RESPONSE AND WE WANT PEOPLE TO BE PREPARED FOR MORE CASES TO OCCUR AND TO CONTINUE TO LISTEN TO AND FOLLOW THE RECOMMENDATIONS FROM PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS. WE RECOGNIZE THE HARDSHIP THAT MANY SOUTH PARALYTIC — SOUTH CAROLINIANS ARE FACING. IT’S IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US TO PROTECT OUR EMOTIONAL HEALTH. EVERYONE HANDLES STRESS DIFFERENTLY AND TO ENSURE THAT YOU PROTECT YOUR MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH, IT IS IMPORTANT TO TAKE BREAKS. PARTICULARLY, TAKE BREAKS FROM WATCHING, READING, AND CONTINUOUSLY LISTENING TO NEWS REPORTS ABOUT COVID-19 AND SOCIAL MEDIA. HEARING ABOUT COVID-19 CONTINUOUSLY IS A STRESS INDUCING EVENT. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO TAKE BREAKS FROM THAT KIND OF INFORMATION. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY, EAT HEALTHY, EXERCISE REGULARLY, GET PLENTY OF SLEEP AND AVOID ALCOHOL AND DRUGS. MAKE TIME TO UNWIND AND PARTICIPATE IN ACTIVITIES THAT YOU ENJOY. CONNECT WITH OTHERS, TALK WITH PEOPLE THAT YOU TRUST ABOUT THEIR CONCERNS AND HOW YOU ARE FEELING ON THE PHONE AND WITH RESPONSE TO SOCIAL MEDIA. WE TEND TO SPEND A LOT OF TIME INTERACTING WITH OTHERS. THAT RAISES CONCERNS ABOUT WHAT LEVEL OF CAUTION THAT WE SHOULD TAKE TO DO NECESSARY ACTIVITIES. EVERYONE SHOULD CONTINUE TO MONITOR FOR SYMPTOMS AND PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING. AVOID TOUCHING FREQUENTLY TOUCH SERVICES LIKE DOORKNOBS AND RAILS. REMEMBER TO WASH YOUR HAND AFTER BEING IN PUBLIC PLACES. PEOPLE WITH SIGNS OF ILLNESS MUST STAY AT HOME AND AVOID PUBLIC GATHERINGS. THIS CONTINUES TO BE AN EMERGING AND RAPIDLY EVOLVING SITUATION. WE WILL CONTINUE TO PROVIDE UPDATES ON OUR WEBPAGE.>> ANY QUESTIONS?>> FROM LOOKING AT THE CURRENT CONTACT TRACING TO HIGHER PRIORITY AREAS. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THOSE 100 CASES THAT CAME OUT, CAN YOU TELL US WHERE YOU ARE FOCUSING OR WHERE YOUR PRIORITIES ARE?>> WE ARE CONTINUING TO FOCUS ON KNOWN CLOSE CONTACTS OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS. WE DON’T FOCUS AS MUCH ON PUBLIC SETTINGS WHERE THOSE INDIVIDUALS HAVE BEEN BECAUSE WE DON’T CONSIDER EVERYONE TO BE CLOSE CONTACT. WE ALSO FOCUS ON CASES AND INSTITUTIONS WITH SETTINGS LIKE NURSING HOMES. WE FOCUS ON POPULATIONS WITH INDIVIDUALS WHO COULD BE AT RISK . THE TOTAL NUMBER OF CASES THAT WE ARE REPORTING NOW IS 298 CONFIRMED CASES.>> I KNOW THAT YOU SAID WE ARE IN THE ACCELERATION PHASE. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN AND WHERE IS THE NEXT STEP?>> THE ACCELERATION PHASE MEANS THAT AS CASES INCREASE, IT IS NO LONGER FEASIBLE TO DO INDIVIDUAL CONTACT INVESTIGATIONS FOR EVERY CASE, THAT’S WHEN WE FOCUS MORE ON COMMUNITY MEASURES IN THE ACCELERATION PHASE WE WILL FOCUS MORE ON A SAMPLING IN THE POPULATION TO MAKE SURE WE STILL HAVE A REASONABLE PICTURE OF DISEASE TRANSMISSION IN COMMUNITIES WITHOUT ATTEMPTING TO IDENTIFY EVERY SINGLE CASE. THIS IS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT IF LABORATORY TESTING BECOMES COMPROMISED OR IS IN SHORTAGE. WE WOULD THEN FOCUS ON TESTING FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE MORE SERIOUSLY ILL IN HOSPITALS AND HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS. GOV. MCMASTER: NEXT QUESTION.>> SOME OF THIS STUFF THAT HAS COME FROM THE NATIONAL STOCKPILE WAS EXPIRED. HAS IT BEEN DISTRIBUTED AND TO WHERE?>> THE QUESTION IS, THE DISTRIBUTION FROM THE NATIONAL STOCKPILE, SOME OF THE ITEMS HAD BEEN EXPIRED AND WHERE WAS IT DISTRIBUTED? WE RECEIVED THIS SHIPMENT LAST WEEK AND DISTRIBUTED IT TO 46 COUNTIES. WE DISTRIBUTED THAT BASED ON A POPULATION RATIO. THE SUPPLIES THAT WE RECEIVED FROM THE NATIONAL STOCKPILE WAS DISTRIBUTED OUT TO ALL 46 COUNTIES.>> WHAT ABOUT THE EXPIRED STUFF?>> ALL OF THE MATERIALS HAD BEEN GIVEN EXTENDED WARRANTY BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THEIR DISTRIBUTION. THAT INFORMATION WAS SHARED WITH EACH OF THE RECEIVING SITES. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SAID THAT WHILE ITEMS HAD EXPIRED, THEY STILL HAD A USEFUL LIFE.>> HOW MUCH OF OUR ENTIRE ALLOTMENT HAVE WE RECEIVED?>> THE QUESTION WAS HOW MUCH OF THE ALLOTMENT DID WE RECEIVE AND ARE WE MORE LIKELY TO RECEIVE, I GAVE THOSE NUMBERS, I DON’T HAVE THE NUMBERS WITH ME, AND WE RECEIVE APPROXIMATELY — WE RECEIVED THE DISTRIBUTION. WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT THEY ARE SHIPPING A SECOND SHIPMENT TO US THAT WE EXPECT TO RECEIVE AT SOMETIME THIS WEEK. WE WILL RECEIVE A SIMILAR METHODOLOGY WHERE, IN THE PREVIOUS DISTRIBUTION, WE WITHHELD 10% FOR EMERGENCY ISSUES, WE PLAN ON DISTRIBUTIVE 100% OF THE MATERIALS THAT WE RECEIVE IN THE SECOND SHIPMENT. WE ARE PLEASED TO KNOW WE ARE RECEIVING A SECOND SHIPMENT SO CLOSE BECAUSE ALL PROVIDERS ARE RUNNING LOW.>> [INAUDIBLE]>> THE QUESTION IS ABOUT VENTILATOR MACHINES AND HAVE WE RECEIVED OR REQUESTED ANY FROM THE NATIONAL STOCKPILE? I DO NOT KNOW IF THEY HAVE VENTILATOR MACHINES IN THEIR STOCKPILE. THE SECOND ONE IS, WHAT IS OUR SUPPLY? WE ASKED THE HOSPITALS YESTERDAY TO GIVE US AN INVENTORY. WE HAVE 1054 VENTILATORS. THAT’S A NUMBER WITHIN THE STATE. THAT’S NOT COUNTING THE YOUNG NADEL VENTILATORS. IT ALSO DOES NOT COUNT 104 FOR TRANSPORT OR PORTABLE ONES. WE HAVE 1160 VENTILATORS IN THE STATE IN HOSPITALS.>> GOVERNOR, WE RECEIVED COMMENTS FROM VIEWERS SAYING THEY ARE HAVING A HARD TIME APPLYING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU HAVE DONE TO EASE THAT? GOV. MCMASTER: STEPS ARE BEING TAKEN TO EASE THAT. MR. ELSELEY IS NOT HERE TODAY BUT WE ARE WELL AWARE OF THE INTEREST IN THAT SITE. WE WILL KEEP WATCHING THAT AND TRYING TO FIND EVERY WAY WE CAN TO BE SURE — NUMBER OF EMPLOYERS SAY — ABOUT A WEEK TO GET THE CHECKS.>> WE ARE HEARING FROM FOLKS WHO WANT TO LIVE IN HOTELS IN THE FIRST PLACE ANOTHER DON’T HAVE A JUMP TO PAY THE RENT FOR THE HOTEL. IS THERE ANYTHING TARGETED TO HELP THOSE FOLKS? THERE IS LEGISLATION PENDING IN CONGRESS. WE ARE HOPING THAT LEGISLATION WILL PASS QUICKLY.>> WHEN YOU ISSUED YOUR ORDER LIMITING CROWD SIZE TO THREE PEOPLE, TRYING TO DISPERSE THESE CROWDS, HOW IS THAT DIFFERENT FROM FRIDAY ON TWITTER? GOV. MCMASTER: I ANNOUNCED THE PRESENCE OF THE LAW THEN. THIS, I AM ASKING LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO BE SURE TO UNDERSTAND THAT THEY CAN IMPLEMENT THAT AND THE RAMIFICATIONS OF IT. I WANT TO MAKE SURE IT IS UNDERSTOOD WHAT IT IS NOT INTENDED TO APPLY TO. AS IN ALL LAWS, YOU CANNOT COVER EVERY POSSIBLE SITUATION IN A LIST. IT’S LIKE THE PUBLIC NUISANCE LAW, WHICH IS A CIVIL PROCEEDING. THIS IS A CRIMINAL ONE AVAILABLE DURING STATES OF EMERGENCY. IT REQUIRES DISCRETION, COMMON SENSE, AND THE BIGGEST PLACE WHERE WE ARE MISSING COMMON SENSE THESE DAYS, IS NOT AMONG LAW ENFORCEMENT BUT AMONG OUR OWN CITIZENS WHO ARE NOT TAKING THE STEPS. OH THAT’S WHY I EMPHASIZE, BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR, FOLLOW THE NEWS. IF YOU ARE SICK,S STAY HOME. LOOK IN ON YOUR SENIOR NEIGHBORS. THERE IS A WEALTH OF INFORMATION ON THE WEBSITE ABOUT WHAT IS AVAILABLE TO HELP. THE MAIN LINE OF DEFENSE IS IN EVERY SINGLE PERSON. THAT’S WHAT THEY COME INTO CONTACT WITH, WHAT THEY DO WITH THEIR HANDS. IF WE CAN MASTER THAT AND HAVE REAL COMPLIANCE WITH THOSE COMMONSENSICAL PUBLIC HEALTH RULES, THAT WOULD BE ENORMOUS HELP IN THIS VIRUS.>> YOU’RE LIMITING IT TO THREE PEOPLE. GOV. MCMASTER: THE LAW, THE STATUTE THAT HAS BEEN ON THE BOOKS FOR MANY YEARS SAYS THREE OR MORE. IT EXCLUDES HOMES. THE PURPOSE OF IT IS NOT FOR ALL ABIDING BUSINESSES AND THINGS LIKE THAT, BUT THOSE SPONTANEOUS EVENTS THAT I DESCRIBED.>> THAT SMALL NUMBER, THREE OR MORE. I SAW A FAMILY OF THREE ON THEIR BIKES.>> THAT’S WHY I SAY THAT WE HAVE TO USE COMMON SENSE. A MOM AND DADDY AND TWO CHILDREN WALKING ALONG THE SIDEWALK IS NOT WHAT THE CRIMINAL LAW IS AIMED FOR. THAT’S A GOOD THING AS LONG AS THEY GO BACK HOME AND STAY AWAY FROM CROWDS. EVERY LAW REQUIRES COMMON SENSE. WE PROBABLY HAVE THE BEST LAW ENFORCEMENT IN THE UNITED STATES. ONE THING THAT YOU HAVE PLENTY OF HIS COMMON SENSE.>> GOVERNOR, IS THERE A WAY THAT WE CAN SPEAK TO THE NUMBER. THERE IS COMPLACENCY WITH CHILDREN, THE IDEA THAT CHILDREN DON’T CARRY THE VIRUS OR ARE NOT AFFECTED AS MUCH. IS THERE ANYWAY TO SPEAK TO THAT IN OUR STATE? DO WE HAVE A NUMBER OF MUCH YOUNGER PEOPLE GETTING THE VIRU S?>> WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS IS THAT THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WHO ARE MORE SEVERELY ILL ARE ABOVE THE AGE OF 65. THEY HAVE A GREATER CHANCE OF BEING EXPOSED. IT JUST MEANS THEY HAVE GREATER COMPLICATIONS. ANYONE IN ANY AGE GROUP CAN HAVE COMPLICATIONS. WE ARE SEEING YOUNGER AGE GROUPS THAT ARE HOSPITALIZED. ANY INDIVIDUAL IN ANY AGE GROUP IF EXPOSED TO SOMEONE ILL CAN BECOME ILL.>> YOU SAID THE ACCELERATION PHASE, IS THAT THE START — [INAUDIBLE]>> IF YOU COULD PICTURE IN YOUR MIND A BELL CURVE. WE WOULD BE ON THE FRONT END OF THE STEP SIDE OF THAT CURVE. WE HAVE TRANSITIONED TO A FLATT ER UPRISE TO A MORE RAPID PEAK. HOW RAPIDLY THAT INCREASE OCCURS DEPENDS HOW EFFECTIVE OUR MEASURES ARE FOR COMMUNITY MITIGATION STRATEGIES. AS DEFINED BY ONGOING TRANSMISSION IN COMMUNITIES IN THE STATE.>> WITH 31 CASES IN GREENVILLE COUNTY, ARE THOSE ALL ONE PART OF THE COUNTY? WHERE ARE ALL OF THOSE CASES?>> WE REPORT COUNTS AT THE COUNTY LEVEL. AS I EXPLAINED EARLIER, BY ZEROING DOWN ON CASES WITHIN A COUNTY, IT TENDS TO GIVE PEOPLE A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY. UNDERSTANDING A SPECIFIC ADDRESS OR A SPECIFIC NEIGHBORHOOD DOESN’T HELP OUR CONTROL MEASURES BECAUSE IT CAN LEAD TO THE ASSUMPTION THAT PEOPLE ARE NOT TRAVELING FROM THOSE NEIGHBORHOODS OR TO OTHER COUNTIES. THE EXPECTATION TO HAVE THAT SPECIFIC INFORMATION HAS LED TO COMPLACENCY IN OTHER COMMUNITIES. THEY THINK IF IT’S NOT IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD, I’M EXPECTED TO FOLLOW THE MEASURES. THAT DOES NOT HELP US WITH PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES TO PREVENT DISEASE. THAT IS WHY WE ARE IN A COMMUNITY MITIGATION PHASE. WE EXPECT EVERYONE TO COMPLY WITH MESSAGES WE HAVE BEEN GETTING ALL ALONG, EVEN BEFORE CASES OCCURRED. THE ACCELERATION, HAS IT GOTTEN MORE AGGRESSIVE BEFORE TELLING PEOPLE TO SHELTER-IN-PLACE? >> WELL, THE MEASURES HAVE REMAINED THE SAME. IT IS WHAT WE SAID AT THE BEGINNING. WE KNOW THAT PEOPLE HAVE NOT NECESSARILY BEEN FOLLOWING THOSE MEASURES, SO ALL OF THE SCHOOL CLOSURES AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PEOPLE TO STAY HOME, IF THEY ARE ILL, TO CONGREGATE. THOSE TYPES OF BEHAVIORS CONTINUE. IT IS IN THE GUIDANCE WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN ALL ALONG. >> HAVE YOU CONFIRMED THAT A BABY HAS TESTED POSITIVE? >> WE HAVE CONFIRMED THAT AN INFANT HAS TESTED POSITIVE IN SOUTH CAROLINA. >> REALLY QUICKLY, FOR THE GOVERNOR, I NOTICED A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE ON TRANSPORTATION, SUCH AS THE BUS. HAS ANYTHING COME DOWN THE PIKE IN THAT ASPECT? >> I’M SORRY, IS THAT FOR ME? I’M SORRY, COULD YOU REPEAT THE QUESTION? >> I NOTICED SEVERAL PEOPLE RIDING BUSES, OBVIOUSLY NEEDING TO GET TO WORK AT OTHER PLACES, BUT THERE WERE MORE THAN A FEW PEOPLE ON THE BUS, SO DO WE HAVE ANY PLAN TO DEAL WITH THAT KIND OF SOCIAL DISTANCING? >> SOCIAL DISTANCING, AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, WE WANT PEOPLE TO APPLY SOCIAL DISTANCING FOR VOLUNTARY ACTIVITIES. IF PEOPLE HAVE TO GET TO WORK AND THEY HAVE TO USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, THEY MUST CONTINUE TO DO THAT, BUT THERE ARE MEASURES THAT THEY CAN TAKE TO PREVENT TOUCHING SURFACES, SPACING YOURSELF OUT WHEN YOU’RE IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, SO BY MINIMIZING UNNECESSARY ACTIVITIES, WE CAN ALLOW PEOPLE TO MAINTAIN REQUIRED ACTIVITIES. >> RIGHT NOW, DO WE KNOW, IS THERE ANY THOUGHT TO PUSHING SCHOOL BACK FURTHER? AND ALSO WITH THE STUDENTS WHO ARE CURRENTLY DOING THE LEARNING COME THEY HAVE TO REPEAT THE GRADE THAT THEY HAVE NOW? >> FIRST OF ALL, YOU KNOW THE GOVERNOR HAS GIVEN AN EXECUTIVE ORDER. OUR SCHOOLS ARE CLOSED THROUGH THE END OF THE MONTH. THERE ARE CONVERSATIONS THAT WE REALIZE WE PROBABLY HAVE TO MAKE ANOTHER STATEMENT ABOUT SCHOOL CLOSURE, AND WE HAVE TO DO THAT AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME, TO GIVE FOLKS TIME TO GET PREPARED. WE ARE IN CONVERSATIONS, ALL DAY TODAY, I HAVE BEEN ON THE PHONE MEETING WITH SUPERINTENDENTS, AND WE ANTICIPATE THAT THIS WEEK WE WILL BE COMING OUT WITH AN ACTION PLAN ON THINGS LIKE — HOW ARE WE GOING TO HANDLE GRADUATION? YOU KNOW WE ANNOUNCED TODAY THAT WE WILL SUSPEND ALL SPRING TESTING, AND THAT ALSO INCLUDES TESTING LIKE THE END OF COURSE TEST THAT STUDENTS TAKE WHEN THEY ARE IN HIGH SCHOOL, AND BIOLOGY, HISTORY, SO ALL OF THOSE ANNOUNCEMENTS ON OUR WEBSITE, WE ARE DOING EVERYTHING WE POSSIBLY CAN TO MAKE THIS AS SMOOTH AS POSSIBLE FOR OUR FACULTY AND OUR STUDENTS, AT THE TOP OF THE PRIORITY LIST. >> WOULD THAT BE AP TESTING AS WELL? >> THE AP TESTING IS DONE BY THE COLLEGE BOARD. THEY MADE AN ANNOUNCEMENT ON FRIDAY AND HOW THEY ANTICIPATE TESTING, WORKING WITH OUR VENDORS, NOT ONLY FOR OUR VENDORS BUT WORKING WITH A C.T. THOSE TESTS, WHICH WILL HELP JUNIORS AND SENIORS COULD BE READY FOR COLLEGE, WE WILL DO EVERYTHING WE POSSIBLY CAN TO HAVE THOSE TESTS ADMINISTERED. WE WILL HAVE TO WORK WITH THE VENDOR COMPANIES, AND THE STUDENTS MAY HAVE TO TAKE THE TEST AT HOME. WE ARE WORKING THOSE DETAILS OUT NOW, BUT THAT IS A TOP PRIORITY FOR US TO DO EVERYTHING AS POSSIBLE FOR SENIORS AND JUNIORS TO GET THEM READY TO GO ONTO THE NEXT IS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL. GOV. MCMASTER: NEXT QUESTION. YES, SIR. >> FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE TAKEN THE CORONAVIRUS TEST AND ARE AWAITING THE RESULTS BACK, WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND THEY DO WHEN THEY ARE WAITING FOR THE RESULTS TO COME BACK? >GOV. MCMASTER: DR. BELL? DR. BELL: IF A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER HAS INDICATED THAT A TEST IS NECESSARY, THAT THEY ARE TO STAY IN ISOLATION UNTIL THE TEST RESULT COMES BACK, AND IF IT IS NEGATIVE, THEN THOSE CAN BE — THEN THOSE MEASURES CAN BE SUSPENDED, BUT THEY ARE EXPECTED TO STAY IN ISOLATION, AND THEY ARE CONSIDERED TO BE A POSSIBLE CASE. GOV. MCMASTER: NEXT QUESTION. YES, SIR, IN THE BACK. >> YOU MENTIONED IN THE STATE, IS THERE AN UPDATE ON AVAILABILITY, AND WHAT CATEGORY? >> I AM NOT SURE THE SECOND PART OF YOUR QUESTION. WE DO NOT HAVE WHAT IS THE CURRENT NUMBER BEING UTILIZED. WE ARE EXPECTING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO COME OUT WITH ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS, SO WE HAVE NOT SENT THAT QUESTION BACK OUT TO THE HOSPITALS. THEY DO REPORT EVERY SIX HOURS THE NUMBER OF BEDS THAT THEY HAVE, BOTH OCCUPIED, AND THEN WE KNOW WHAT THEIR SENSES NUMBER IS, BUT WE DO NOT KNOW THE NUMBER BEING UTILIZED AT THIS POINT IN TIME. GOV. MCMASTER: NEXT QUESTION. >> THE STOCKPILE COME ARE YOU WAITING FOR ANOTHER SYSTEM — SHIPMENT COMING IN? ARE WE ABLE TO REQUEST SPECIFIC THINGS? >> THE STOCKPILE HAS SPECIFIC THINGS, SO THEY DISTRIBUTE BASED UPON THE POPULATION OF THE STATE, SO WE GET WHAT THEY SEND US. >> CAN YOU GIVE US AN UPDATE ON HOW TESTING IS GOING, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU LOOK AT 100 CASES, IS THAT A RESULT OF MORE TESTING COMING ONLINE, OR JUST KIND OF WHAT IS THE CAPACITY? >> SO THE CAPACITY AND THE NUMBER, SO THERE’S A — NOT A COMPLICATED, BUT THERE IS A CONVOLUTED ANSWER TO THAT. WE REPORTED OUT YESTERDAY 22 CASES, 22 POSITIVES, AND WE REPORTED OUT 103 TODAY. PART OF THAT DRAMATIC INCREASE WAS A SHORTAGE OF TESTING MATERIAL THAT THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAB HAD ON SATURDAY, SO WE HAD TO DELAY THE RUN OF SATURDAY TEST. THAT 22 WERE REPORTED OUT, ALL FROM PRIVATE LABS, SO THE REPORT OUT FROM TODAY, WHICH WAS YESTERDAY’S RUN, WE RAN TWO BATCHES YESTERDAY THAT REFLECTED THE DELAY, AND WE GOT A SHIPMENT IN OF THE REAGENT LATE SATURDAY AFTERNOON, SO WE WERE ABLE TO BATCH AND RUN BOTH GROUPS ON SUNDAY, THUS THE LARGER NUMBER REPORTING OUT TODAY. WE ARE SEEING A CONTINUED INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF TESTS THAT WE ARE RUNNING. I THINK DR. BELL SAID THAT WE HAD THE TOTAL NUMBER OF TESTS RUN IS 2239, SO WE ARE NOW DOING 200, 300 OR SO TESTS A DAY. OUR CAPACITY OF TESTING IS OVER 1000, PROBABLY CLOSER TO 1500. IF WE HAD ALL OF THE REAGENTS THAT WE NEED. WE ARE GETTING SHIPMENTS OF THE REAGENT IN EVERY COUPLE OF DAYS, SO WE DO NOT HAVE ANY EVER A LARGE STOCKPILE, BUT WE ARE SEEING MORE AND MORE LABS COMING ON, AND SOME OF THOSE LABS ARE GOING TO BE USING DIFFERENT MATERIALS TO RUN THEIR TEST, SO THE CAPACITY IN THE STATE IS GOING TO RAMP UP OVER THE NEAR FUTURE. WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO RUN EVERY TEST THAT HAS COME TO US, AND OUR TURNAROUND, WE RECEIVE IT BY MIDDAY, AND OUR RESULTS ARE USUALLY BY THAT NIGHT, WHICH WE REPORT OUT THE NEXT DAY. >> WHO IS GETTING THE TEST? HAS THAT CHANGED AT ALL, AS YOU ARE ENTERING THE ACCELERATION PHASE? I HEARD YOU SAID YOU ARE NOT NECESSARILY TESTING EVERYONE. DR. BELL: NO, WE ARE CURRENTLY ENCOURAGING PROVIDERS TO CONTINUE TO TEST THOSE WHO PRESENT WITH THESE SYMPTOMS SUGGESTIVE OF THE DISEASE. WE ARE ALSO STRONGLY ENCOURAGING PROVIDERS AND OTHERS NOT TO KEEP TESTING FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO DO NOT HAVE SYMPTOMS. THAT CAN PRESERVE THE TESTS. DEPENDING ON TESTING AVAILABILITY HERE AND NATIONALLY, WE MAY MOVE TO A PRACTICE OF PRESERVING TESTING FOR THOSE WHO ARE MORE SERIOUSLY ILL THAN A HOSPITAL SETTING OR FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS. AT THIS TIME, WE ARE CONTINUING TO TEST THOSE. >> DR. BELL, THOSE THAT YOU ANNOUNCED TODAY, WITH THOSE PREVIOUSLY KNOWN CASES? DR. BELL: YES. >> THERE IS A SOUTH CAROLINA RESIDENT AND CLEMSON STUDENT STUCK IN PERU. DO YOU HAVE AN UPDATE ON WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH THEM? GOV. MCMASTER: I KNOW THAT IS UNDERWAY. >> I DON’T HAVE THAT INFORMATION. >> ANOTHER QUESTION FROM VIEWERS. A NAIL SALON, BARBERSHOP, AND PEOPLE WALKING IN THE PARK, COULD SOMEONE ADDRESS THAT? IT IS A VIEWER QUESTION. GOV. MCMASTER: DR. BELL. DR. BELL: THE BEAUTY SHOP AND BARBER SHOP QUESTION IS A COMPLEX ONE. THE KIND OF CONTACT THEY ARE HAVING WHEN GETTING THEIR SERVICES, AND WHETHER OR NOT THOSE SERVICES ARE OPTIONAL, AND TO MAKE THE BEST DECISIONS ABOUT SOCIAL DISTANCING. >> I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THE SYMPTOMS. THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO ARE AFFECTED — THAT COULD ACTUALLY BE A SYMPTOM, SOME PEOPLE HAD SAID WHEN THEY REPORTED THAT, THEY HAD BEEN TOLD THAT IS NOT ENOUGH TO GET A TEST. IS THAT A SYMPTOM THAT YOU WOULD VIEW AS A POTENTIAL INDICATOR? IF NOT, WHY NOT? DR. BELL: WELL, WE KNOW THAT THE DISEASE PRESENTATION CAN BE A SPECTRUM OF SYMPTOMS, A VARIETY OF SYMPTOMS, THAT IN ORDER TO DO SORT OF MASS SCREENING, IF YOU WILL, WE FOCUSED ON THE MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS, WHICH ARE FEVER, COUGH, SHORTNESS OF BREATH. THERE COULD BE OTHER ASSOCIATED SYMPTOMS ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS, MUSCLE ACHE, BUT TO MAKE THE MOST APPROPRIATE USE OF THE TESTS, WE SHOULD FOCUS ON THE MOST CRITICAL SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS, BUT AGAIN, IT IS UP TO THE DISCRETION OF THE HEALTH CARE PROVIDER, IF THOSE UNUSUAL SYMPTOMS ARE WITH THE MORE COMMONLY EXPRESSED SYMPTOMS, THAN THAT IS THEIR DECISION. GOV. MCMASTER: ONE MORE QUESTION. >> WE HAVE A PROJECTION OF HOW MANY SOUTH CAROLINIANS MAY END UP HAVING THIS IN A TIMELINE, MAYBE BY NEXT MONTH OR THE MONTH AFTER THAT? WE HAVE ANY PROJECTION OF HOW MANY PEOPLE MAY BE AFFECTED BY THIS. >> WE ARE WORKING ON THOSE PROJECTIONS, WE ARE WORKING WITH MULTIPLE EXPERTS, THE USC SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, MACLEOD HAS A POSITION THAT IS INVOLVED WITH IT. DHEC HAS OUR PLANNING, EMD HAS ITS GROUP OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA NATIONAL GUARD PEERED WE CONVENED A GROUP YESTERDAY TO STOP DOING THAT, AND A FIRST DRAFT OF THAT GROUP IS TOMORROW, SO WE ARE PREPARING PROJECTIONS. WE ARE NOT GOING TO RELEASE THOSE PROJECTIONS, BUT THAT IS A VERY IMPORTANT PROCESS FOR US TO GO THROUGH, TO LOOK AT THE POTENTIAL, AND AGAIN, AS YOU DO FOR ANY PROJECTIONS OR FEASIBILITY OR ESTIMATES, IT IS BASED ON THE HISTORICAL, BASED ON DATA FROM OTHER COUNTRIES, BASED ON DATA FROM STATES WITHIN THE UNITED STATES TO TRY AND PROJECT WHAT MIGHT BE THE COURSE OF GROWTH OF POSITIVE CASES HERE. PART OF THAT IS LOOKING AT THE AGE GROUP BY COUNTY AND STUFF, SO WE ARE GOING TO TRY TO MAKE IT QUICKER AND SIMPLER THAN AN ACADEMIC EXERCISE, BUT WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE DEAL WITH THE ACADEMIC DETAILS OF IT, SO THAT WE HAVE A GOOD BASIS FOR THOSE PROJECTIONS, SO I WOULD EXPECT WE WILL HAVE THOSE WITHIN THE NEXT WEEK. >> CAN YOU SPEAK TO THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE, THE THREE OR MORE THREAT, BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE CONFUSED WHETHER OR NOT A BUSINESS LIKE A DAYCARE CAN HAVE MORE THAN THREE. PLEASE TALK ABOUT THE THREE PEOPLE, WHERE THAT IS APPROPRIATE. GOV. MCMASTER: THAT WILL BE UP TO THE DISCRETION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT. THIS IS AN OLD LAW THAT IS ACTIVATED IN TIMES OF THE DECLARATION OF AN EMERGENCY. THIS IS NOT INTENDING TO APPLY TO LAWFUL BUSINESSES AND THOSE KINDS OF THINGS BUT RATHER TO GATHERINGS OF CROWDS, WHETHER SPONTANEOUS OR OTHERWISE, WE HAVE HAD CROWDS GATHER AT THE BEACHES, CROWDS GATHER AT SANDBARS, IN PARKING LOTS, AND ALL SORTS OF THINGS. THIS IS IN THE DECISION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT. IF THEY BELIEVE THAT THAT IS A THREAT IN THIS SITUATION, THEN THEY ARE AUTHORIZED BY THE EXTENSION TO ORDER THAT CROWD TO DISPERSE. >> HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU RECOMMEND? IS IT STILL THE 50 OR THE 10 THAT THE PRESIDENT — GOV. MCMASTER: WELL, THE NUMBERS — THERE ARE ALL SORTS OF DIFFERENT NUMBERS, BUT THIS STATUTE, WHICH IS AN OLD STATUTE, SPECIFICALLY SAYS THREE OR MORE, AND THAT IS WHAT LAW ENFORCEMENT WILL ALSO STATE, ANY OFFICER IS AUTHORIZED TO USE HIS OR HER DISCRETION AND DISPERSING IF THEY BELIEVE IT TO BE NECESSARY. >> WEDDINGS OR FUNERALS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT, WE JUST GOT A QUESTION ABOUT THAT. IT IS A PLANNED EVENT. GOV. MCMASTER: REMEMBER, THIS IS A LAW ENFORCEMENT MEASURE, AND I WILL SAY IT AGAIN, IT IS DESIGNED FOR THE KINDS OF CROWDS THAT OFTEN ARE BOISTEROUS, OFTEN ARE LARGE, ARE SOMETIMES SPONTANEOUS. WE HAVE SEEN THEM ON THE BEACHES, WE HAVE SEEN THEM ON SOME OF THE ISLANDS, ON THE COAST, AND EVERY NOW AND THEN, YOU SEE THEM IN PARKING LOTS OR PLACES, IT IS THOSE KINDS OF EVENTS. THE STATUTE DOES NOT CONTEMPLATE — ALTHOUGH IT DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY RULE ANYTHING IN OR ANYTHING OUT, AND THAT IS ON PURPOSE TO GET THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES THE ABILITY TO MAKE THE PROPER DECISION, AND THE NUMBER THREE I PRESUME WAS SELECTED BECAUSE IT WAS, IT SEEMED LIKE A — TO HAVE NOT TOO HIGH A NUMBER BUT TO HAVE A LOWER NUMBER. IT DOES NOT APPLY TO HOMES. THE STATUTE SPECIFICALLY SAYS SO, BUT IT WAS TO GIVE LAW ENFORCEMENT DISCRETION, AND THAT IS WHAT WE ARE ASKING LAW ENFORCEMENT TO USE IN THIS CASE. YOU HAVE GOT TO USE COMMON SENSE. EVERY LAW CONTEMPLATES SOME AMOUNT OF COMMON SENSE, PARTICULARLY WHEN DEALING WITH A CATEGORY OR A TERM THAT IS VERY FLEXIBLE. >> AT THE BEACHES, WHEN IT COMES TO THAT? GOV. MCMASTER: AS I SAID, NOTHING IS OFF THE TABLE. WE ARE TAKING THE STEPS THAT ARE NECESSARY A TIME, NECESSARY TO STAY AHEAD. WE HAVE THE PLANS, A VARIETY OF STEPS AND OPTIONS, AND WE ARE TAKING THE BASED ON THE DATA, BASED ON THE SCIENCE, BASED ON THE RECOMMENDATIONS AND THE INSIGHTS.
Nearly 300 COVID-19 cases in SC; governor says police can disperse gatherings of 3 or more people
298 cases in 34 counties
GREENVILLE, S.C. —
**LATEST HEADLINES FROM MONDAY**
- 103 additional cases of COVID-19 in South Carolina. This brings the total number statewide to 298 cases in 34 counties.
- Gov. McMaster issues executive order: Law enforcement officers can prohibit or disperse any gathering of 3 or more if the group could pose a threat to someone’s health. This does not apply to law-abiding businesses or employers. This does not apply to people in their homes.
- Gov. McMaster: No need for “shelter in place order” at this time.
- DHEC website: Five deaths reported in South Carolina; two new deaths announced Monday
- Information on latest deaths: One patient was an elderly person from Clarendon County, who had underlying health conditions. The second patient was an elderly person from Kershaw County who also had underlying health conditions.
- Watch full news conference above
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced 103 more cases of COVID-19 Monday, bringing the total to 298 in 34 counties across the state.
Five people have died so far in South Carolina, DHEC confirmed. All of those patients were elderly people with underlying health conditions.
Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist, said the state is now in the “accelerated” phase of the outbreak.
“This disease is here, it’s in our communities, and we all have a part to play in helping to stop the spread of it,” she said.
Bell said everyone in the state — whether the virus is identified in their community or not — needs to heed public health warnings and practice good hygiene.
In Monday’s news conference, the governor updated the state’s response to fight the spread of the virus.
About half of all state employees are working from home as of Monday, the governor said. He said he hopes that number moves to 70% at home as the week goes on.
He quickly addressed rumors about a shelter-in-place order for the state. McMaster said he isn’t ruling it out, but he doesn’t want to order it.
“That’s a drastic action and we hope that won’t be necessary,” McMaster said.
He urged everyone to use good personal hygiene and common sense to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The governor said he hopes those efforts will be enough to fight the virus without a shelter-in-place order.
With an executive order issued Monday, McMaster directed law enforcement across the state to disperse gatherings of three or more people in public. Officers will use the order as they see fit if it threatens public health, the governor said.
This does not affect people in law-abiding businesses, McMaster said. It also doesn’t affect families who may be on outings.
“This weekend, we saw large crowds gathered on beaches, on sandbars, and in parking lots,” McMaster said. “We are facing a dangerous and deadly enemy and this type of behavior is both irresponsible and selfish. Law enforcement asked for clarification as to how this existing law applies during this state of emergency. I have included it in an executive order to make it clear that law enforcement has the ability to disperse groups of people who pose a risk to the public’s safety and to the safety of others.
“It does not apply to private businesses nor to responsible South Carolinians continuing to make the best out of this situation. And as I said, this is not a shelter-in-place order but another measure aimed at containing the virus by controlling crowds, so that we do not have to shelter in place.”
No additional regulations concerning schools or businesses were issued Monday.
The governor said hospitals listened to his request for them to cancel elective procedures and that has freed up hospital beds across the state to help respond to the coronavirus outbreak.
McMaster also identified numerous grocery stores that have implemented “senior shopping hours” to help protect customers who are most at risk to develop a serious case of the virus.
“The spirit of South Carolina is evident,” the governor said.
He urged people who are not yet taking the virus seriously to do so immediately.
“We must all assume we all have the virus, and everyone we talk to has the virus,” McMaster said.
Previously, the governor ordered all bars and restaurants to end dine-in service, and made an executive order to allow beer and wine curbside sales, though the alcohol cannot be delivered.