Gov. McMaster: “If Cases Keep Rising, I Can’t Lift Restrictions”, Record High Numbers Of COVID-19

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Governor Henry McMaster says he can’t lift current restrictions if COVID-19 cases keep rising in the state of South Carolina.

Dr. Bell with SC DHEC confirms there are now 1,497 cases in South Carolina and 24 additional deaths.

Dr. Bell says this is the highest number of deaths that have been reported in a single day. 1,160 are hospitalized. She says with cases continuing at a level of 1,000 a day, it will hamper the agency’s ability to conduct contact tracing.

As we move into the July 4th holiady weekend, she’s urging people to stay at home or if they go out, social distance and wear masks. DHEC says it supports local leaders and governors requiring face masks.

She says it’s a “duty to one another and if people don’t wear masks and follow proper measures, we could see case numbers like nothing we’ve seen before.”

Governor Henry McMaster says “everybody inhales, everybody breathes. We know how to prevent this.”

He says it’s even easier to spread than they originally believed when the pandemic first started.
“We’re doing a whole lot of testing, but we’re also getting a lot of positives.”
McMaster says he will not lift restrictions on spectator sports, concerts, movie theaters, race tracks, high school and college football and performances if the numbers continue to rise. He’s asking all cities and municipalities in the state to make their own rules and apply penalties if people do not follow CDC guidelines.
The governor says, “it’s unimaginable SC would see this many cases.”

McMaster says it’s a crime to violate the executive order for limiting gatherings. He says the Statute of Limitations is unlimited in this case, and even if law enforcement can’t respond this weekend, people can still be held accountable for their actions in the future.

He also adds if someone dies from COVID-19 because of a party or event they attended, then the organizer or owner of an establishment could be held responsible for that person’s death.

“I would not like to be the one to explain to the jury why I allowed that to happen.”

“The Fourth of July is a wonderful celebration, but again, I can’t say it often enough or strongly enough, we have got to be careful,” McMaster.

McMaster answering reporter’s question on beaches: “Local authorities have the authority to do certain things, and they ought to consider those things and they ought to do them. Don’t go over the line or violate someone’s constitutional right, but this is a serious disease…”