S.C. governor says schools should not close, events should not cancel in wake of coronavirus

Updated: Mar. 11, 2020 at 4:37 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - At the State House on Wednesday, the governor said South Carolina’s economy must be resilient in the face of coronavirus.

There are 10 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state, the majority of whom are in Camden, in Kershaw County.

Gov. Henry McMaster said he’s been speaking to the business community, including manufacturers, and urging them to stay open as important contributors to the economy.

The governor also said he’s coordinating with people in the tourism industry.

McMaster named several events across the state that are important for tourism: “the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, the Heritage in Hilton Head and the country music festival in Myrtle Beach, among others." He did not say the events were certain to go on as planned, but he did say the events are important to the economy.

“There remains no cause for public alarm in South Carolina,” McMaster said. "Schools should continue to remain open and provide instruction. State government offices in all 46 counties will stay open. South Carolinians should remain calm and continue their daily normal routines and responsibilities.”

The governor urged people who are sick to stay home. He also said people should wash their hands “all day long” and follow CDC instructions to help not spread the virus.

McMaster also said he was satisfied with the coronavirus response from state health officials. He said the state has plenty of tests, and the results are coming back in a timely manner.

Watch his full comments in the video above.

Those with symptoms of coronavirus -- fever, cough and shortness of breath -- should contact their doctor.

People without a doctor can take advantage of free care from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). They launched a FREE online platform to aid with coronavirus diagnosis and care. Log onto and access the COVID-19 platform. The service is free with code: COVID19.

Prisma Health also just launched a free virtual visit, which allows patients to video conference with a doctor instead of coming into a facility. The goal is to keep patients who don’t need to be treated at a hospital at home. Go to and use promo code COVID19 for a free virtual visit.

Click or tap here to read the latest coronavirus report from DHEC.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the coronavirus is spread mainly from person-to-person by those in close contact, or through coughing and sneezing by someone who’s infected.

Symptoms of coronavirus can show up between two and 14 days of exposure, health officials say. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. They can be mild to severe, and in some cases can lead to death.

Those who are at the highest risk of catching COVID-19 are the elderly and those who are already being treated for chronic medical diseases.

While most young people who contract the virus experience mild symptoms, they can spread the disease to people who are more at risk.

Those at high risk for a severe coronavirus case are elderly people with pre-existing medical conditions, health officials said Monday.

Doctors say there is not currently a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, but over-the-counter medications, like cold and cough medicines, can help treat symptoms of the virus.

The mortality rate for people with the virus has been widely reported around 2 to 3%, but health experts note the actual percentage is not that high, as not all cases are diagnosed or reported.

The rate is higher than the flu, which kills on average about 0.1% of people who get it, based on a 10-year average of data from the CDC.

Again, anyone with concerns about their health, or who believes they are showing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, is urged to call their healthcare provider.

People with general questions about coronavirus should call the DHEC Care Line at 855-472-3432. The line is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Callers are urged to be patient as call volumes are high.

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