South Carolina - COVID-19 Covered

South Carolina

Total Cases: 562,691 (April 12)
Tests Administered: 5,183,044 (March 5)
Fatalities: 9,276 (April 12)
Testing:
  • You can find your closest South Carolina COVID-19 testing site here. found here. 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • In his April 6 executive order, Governor McMaster outlines non-essential services and businesses as follows: entertainment venues and facilities, recreational and athletic facilities, close-contact service providers, and select retail stores. A full list can be found here 

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Governor McMaster and S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) Executive Director Dan Ellzey announced that the state of South Carolina submitted its grant application for FEMA’s Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program on Wednesday, August 26. (August 26)  
  • South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control released general reopening guidelines for businesses. (May 5) 
  • Hair salon, nail salon, and barbershop employees must wear face masks and provide them for customers who do not have their own(May 15 
  • Gym and fitness center employees will have to wear masks, but people working out will not be required to do so. (May 15) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor McMaster released recommendations to the General Assembly for how the Phase II expenditure of CARES Act funds should be invested. (September 10) 
  • Members of Accelerate SC plan to use $500 million to replenish the unemployment trust fund, $250 million for hospitals, and $100 million to expand broadband internet to rural areas. (May 20) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor McMaster announced that two new South Carolina CARES Act grant programsthe Minority and Small Business Relief Grant Program and the Nonprofit Relief Grant Programwill begin accepting applications on Monday, October 19. The programs will provide financial reimbursement to small businesses and nonprofits for COVID-19 related financial or operational impacts. (October 16)  
  • More than 28,000 South Carolina small businesses have been approved for the second round of Paycheck Protection Program payouts. (May 4) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • The White House Coronavirus Task Force announced a federally-supported Community Vaccination Center would open at Columbia Place Mall in Richland County on April 14. (April 5) 
  • Governor Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced that all South Carolinians aged 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 31, 2021. (March 26 
  • All nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the state are required to offer outdoor and/or indoor visitation, with few exceptions, based on new guidelines released by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. (March 19) 
  • Governor McMaster issued an executive order that would aim to return remaining state employees to the workplace on a full-time basis. (March 5) 
  • South Carolina announced it would advance to Phase 1b of its COVID-19 vaccination plan beginning March 8. (March 2) 
  • Governor McMaster announced that COVID-19 safety measures related to the sale of alcohol and mass gatherings would be terminated effective March 1. (February 26 
  • The South Carolina Department of Health Environmental Control partnered with Agape Care Group to help bring COVID-19 vaccines to homebound Phase 1a individuals in Hampton and Jasper counties as part of a pilot program. (February 25) 
  • The Department of Health & Environmental Control launched a new online resource providing information about the age group, gender, race, and ethnicity of South Carolinians who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. (February 15) 
  • On February 8, the list of those eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in South Carolina was expanded to include residents 65 years of age or older, regardless of health status or preexisting conditions. (February 3) 
  • The South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control added a new phone information line to answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines and to help support people searching for vaccine provider information. (January 29) 
  • Beginning January 13, any South Carolina resident aged 70 or older, regardless of health status or preexisting conditions, could begin scheduling their appointment to receive COVID-19 vaccine. (January 11) 
  • Governor McMaster lifted restaurant occupancy limits statewide. (October 2) 
  • Governor McMaster announced the state would require restaurants and other establishments that attract groups of people to operate dine-in services at no more than 50 percent capacity. Employees and patrons would be required to wear masks or face coverings, and tables would also be spaced to keep diners at least six feet apart. No more than eight customers would be allowed to sit at each table unless the customers are from the same family. Standing or congregating in the bar area of restaurant would also be prohibited. (July 29) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Governor Henry McMaster signed Executive Order 2020-73, which gives the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) the authority to implement its K-12 school testing program. (November 25)  
  • Henry McMaster announced the state will purchase and distribute $10 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies to seventy school districts to help ensure that schools reopen safely this fall. (August 12)
  • South Carolina released its final 92-page report on the possibility of reopening schools for the 2020-21 academic year. Details can be found here.

State Higher Education:

  • A list of South Carolina universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 

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