COLUMBIA, S.C. — Governor Henry McMaster wants South Carolina residents to know he is not planning to issue a stay-at-home order at this time.
“I have great faith in the people of South Carolina,” McMaster said. And that he’ll issue a stay-at-home order, “if it becomes necessary to take those steps.”
He says South Carolinians are following rules and guidelines from the CDC and will continue to look at data, facts and science to determine if extremer measures should be taken.
The governor says over half of the state employees are working from home, there are half as many cars on the highway and people are not congregating at beaches or other hangout spots.
As of today – there are now 9 COVID-19 deaths in the state of South Carolina.
To date – there have been 456 confirmed cases. York County has 19 cases, Lancaster has 7 and Chester has one case.
DHEC says the spread of the virus is occurring and we will see more cases.
Visit the DHEC website to see cases by counties.
Health officials project an estimate of 2,657 total cases by April 2nd and 8,000 cases by May 2nd. These are only projections and could change overtime. The idea is to help provide information for communities to plan for healthcare and other critical needs.
DHEC says there is a shortage of tests nationwide and in South Carolina, which could delay test results. There is a blockage of at least 1,600 samples that need to be tested.
Rather than attempting to test every case, DHEC officials say they will now prioritize those who are at most risk as the virus continues to spread.
DHEC also says not to compare Coronavirus to Tuberculosis as Coronavirus has a short incubation period.
Individuals should continue to follow CDC guidelines by practicing social distancing, staying home and away from other people when sick and washing hands frequently.
Public health officials also say because of the freeing up of elective procedures, hospitals have made additional beds available. As of this morning, there are 5,528 beds available, 6,863 are being utilized.
As far as ventilators, there are a total of 1,260 ventilators in the state. Only 180 of those are in use. A request has been put in for additional ventilators.
On the business front….
The Department of Employment and Workforce reports 31,000 unemployment claims have been filed, which is a 1600 percent increase. The department is making real-time changes and updates, adding hours and moving employees around the department to keep up with the “trying times.”
The department is looking at making real-time updates and changes to its website to put out more information, so people are not having to experience long, call wait times. It’s also looking at employer-file claims where employers do file claims for indviduals during a temporary layoff situation to receive benefits in a much more timely fashion.
According to the S.C. Department of Commerce, “business in South Carolina is resilient, and they are operating.”
Leaders say about 85 companies have reached out to transition to make much needed supplies, like face masks and shields.