South Carolina - COVID-19 Covered

South Carolina

Total Cases: 10,416 (May 27)
Tests Administered: 172,734 (May 26)
Fatalities: 446 (May 27)
  • Hospitals in Horry, Georgetown and Williamsburg counties are working with DHEC to offer free coronavirus testing for residents. (May 19) 
  • Thirteen additional mobile testing clinics will be available throughout the state. Additionally, Kroger Health has partnered to host seven days of testing at the SC State Fairgrounds. The testing events are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 15, May 16, May 18, May 22, May 23, May 29 and May 30. (May 14) 
  • Coronavirus tests paid for by the federal government will be available at retail drug stores in 10 counties, including Durham (May 12) 
  • The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has announced that it will test all staff in every nursing home in the state for COVID-19. (May 6) 
  • Assuming full social distancing through May, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control predicts that the COVID-19 related daily death count in the state could be reduced to zero by July. (May 5) 


Essential Service Designations:

  • Essential service designations have not been outlined for the private sector as of April 2Governor McMaster has closed non-essential businesses and has provided a form that businesses can submit to inquire as to whether their business is considered essential. (March 31)  

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has assigned some of the 650 price gouging cases filed since the declared state of emergency to local solicitors. (April 15)  
  • The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce has temporarily waived the one week waiting period for individuals who are otherwise eligible to receive unemployment benefits. The deadline for employers to pay unemployment insurance taxes on first quarter wages has been extended to June 1, 2020, without interest. (March 19) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • 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) 
  • Governor McMaster signed a $155 million package that included $25 million to improve South Carolina’s coronavirus testing capacity. (May 19) 
  • The statewide moratorium on evictions has officially ended. (May 15) 
  • Income for the State of South Carolina is down more than 40% last month, about $400 million from where budget forecasters thought it would be. (May 8) 
  • Governor McMaster signed an executive order that altered the emergency restrictions on public water usage. (April 16) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • South Carolina has opened limited, on-premises customer dining. (May 11) 
  • The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced that Beaufort County’s Shellfish Management Area can reopen. (May 8) 
  • More than 28,000 South Carolina small businesses have been approved for the second round of Paycheck Protection Program payouts. (May 4) 
  • Boeing announced that it would reopen its North Charleston factory campus, but will most likely layoff 10% of its workforce (April 29) 
  • Governor McMaster has pledged to reopen some retail stores – including sporting goods stores, book, music, shoe and craft stores, jewelry stores, floral shops and other luggage and leather goods stores – within the next two weeks. (April 21) 


Shelter-In-Place Orders:

  • Competitive youth and adult sports leagues will be allowed to begin practice on May 30th. Games can begin on June 15. (May 21) 
  • Governor McMaster declared that restrictions on arcades; tourist attractions such as museums, aquariums, planetariums, mini-golf and go-kart racing; indoor children’s play areas; bingo halls; and venues operated by social clubs will be partially lifted on May 22. (May 21) 
  • “Close contact” businesses are allowed to reopen to customers with restrictions in place. Close-contact businesses include barbershops, hair salons, waxing salons, threading salons, nail salons and spas, body-art facilities and tattoo services, tanning salons, massage-therapy establishments, massage services, gyms, fitness centers and group exercise facilities such as yoga studios and barre classes. Public and commercial pools can also reopen. (May 18) 
  • The S.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association is pushing the state government to reopen outdoor dining by May 4 and indoor dining by May 18. (April 30) 
  • Beaches in Horry and Georgetown counties have officially reopened. Hilton Head Island will only open beaches for residents (April 29) 
  • No order has been issued, but Governor McMaster has said that a shelter in place order is “not off the table.” (March 23) 


  • Columbia City Council has authorized an extended 11pm-6am curfew that will go into effect April 10th and is expected to expire after 61 days. (April 9) 
  • Starting April 9, the cities of Orangeburg and Sumter have issued a 11pm-6am curfew. Violators could face a $100 fine. 
  • Governor McMaster has issued a mandate that states “all South Carolinians must remain at home or work unless visiting family, exercising, or obtaining essential goods or services.”(April 6) 
  • The city of Manning, population 4,108, established a curfew from 10 pm to 6 am, with the exception of individuals who work in the healthcare industry. (April 1) 
  • The city of Colombia, population 133,114, established a curfew from 11 pm to 6 am, with the exception of people going to work or experiencing medical emergencies. (March 17) 

Social-Distancing Guidelines:

  • The South Carolina State Museum will reopen on June 1. (May 26) 
  • Governor McMaster signed an executive order that extends the state of emergency declaration through May 28. (May 13) 
  • Governor McMaster signed an executive order that authorized the reopening of public beaches (April 21). 
  • Short-term rentals, vacation rentals and other lodging accommodations are prohibited from accepting new reservations or bookings from individuals residing in or travelling from high risk areas. (April 3) 
  • Governor McMaster ordered additional non-essential businesses to close, including furniture and home-furnishings stores, clothing, shoe, and clothing-accessory stores, jewelry, luggage, and leather goods stores, department stores, with the exception of hardware and home-improvement stores, sporting goods stores, book, craft, and music stores, flea markets, and florists and flower stores. (April 3) 

Delivery Services:

  • All bars and restaurants have been ordered to close in-house service. Governor McMaster said that delivery and take-out service are permitted and recommended “all that be increased, enhanced.” (March 17)
  • McMaster has authorized businesses selling beer and wine to offer curbside delivery or pick-up. (March 21)



  • School buildings in South Carolina will stay closed for the rest of the academic year and K-12 students will finish the semester through online and distance learning. (April 23) 

State Higher Education:

  • The University of South Carolina has announced that it plans to have students back on campus for the fall semester. (May 7) 
  • State colleges have been ordered to house only out-of-state or displaced students. These schools have also restricted on-campus services to only emergency or critical services. (March 28) 

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