Gov. Henry McMaster Closes All Schools Through End Of Month, Urges People To Avoid Large Public Gatherings

COLUMBIA, S.C. — On Sunday, Governor Henry McMaster along with state public health officials gave an update on the 2019 Coronavirus.

Education – State Superintendent Molly Spearman

Effective immediately – the closing of all SC Schools – pre-K through 12th Grade –  including all universities, colleges and tech schools now through March 31st.

State officials are encouraging child care facilities and private schools to follow the same course as public schools.

Families with no WiFi are working with individual school districts who will make the announcements on how to use 3,000 state school buses to deliver WiFi in remote areas.

Six thousand school buses will drop off instructional materials to students.

The summer feeding program will be operational during this time. It includes grab-and-go meals, whether families will pick up meals or they will be delivered.

Student testing that is typically held during this time will be suspended to reduce stress on teachers and families.

During this time teachers, faculty and staff will be paid.

As for make-up days, the state superintendent says it’s too soon to know if and how the days will be made up.

DHEC – Dr. Linda Bell

To date, DHEC Public Health Lab has conducted 263 COVID-19 tests.

28 positive

235 negative

No deaths

SC DHEC is not seeing a widespread transmission. The majority are mild and types of illness that you might not seek medical care. DHEC is not recommending testing people who are not showing symptoms. The virus is very similar to the seasonal flu

There are no shortages of COVID-19 tests in South Carolina with DHEC and private labs having more than adequate supplies at this time. MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina) will be processing test in labs to help with speed.

TEST VS. KIT: A test is done on an individual at a healthcare setting and a kit is performed at a lab. A sample is drawn from a patient (test). that sample is then submitted to a lab – and then a kit is used to run a batch of hundreds tests at a time to report the test results back to the providers.

South Carolina – Gov. Henry McMaster

McMaster is urging people to limit public gatherings to 100 people or less – indoors and outdoors – at this point it’s a very strong recommendation.

Parents – now is the time to explain to your children – how serious this virus is and to remind children about social distancing and personal hygiene.

Calling on the faith community, check in on your members, especially those at risk.

The governor says we will get through this and right now, everyone should remain calm and treat everyone as a neighbor. Be courtesy and have compassion, he says.

The governor says please don’t purchase more than you need. No need to hoard supplies

Some states have or are looking at closing bars and restaurants. South Carolina is not there yet, the governor says.