S.C. governor closes more non-essential businesses, suspends short-term rentals

S.C. governor closes more non-essential businesses, suspends short-term rentals
South Carolina is one of only 10 states that remains without a statewide stay-at-home order. (Source: AP/CDC)

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Gov. Henry McMaster has issued two new executive orders to address the coronavirus outbreak in South Carolina, but he has stopped short from issuing a statewide stay-at-home order.

RIGHT NOW: Gov. Henry McMaster and DHEC officials have the latest on the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on South Carolina. UPDATES >> https://bit.ly/2vZwlkM Get the earliest breaking news alerts on your phone with the WIS 10 News app >> http://bit.ly/2Zz44uF

Posted by WIS TV on Friday, April 3, 2020

McMaster has expanded his original order closing non-essential businesses to now include the following:

  • furniture stores
  • home furnishing stores
  • clothing stores
  • shoe and clothing accessory stores
  • jewelry stores
  • luggage and leather goods stores
  • department stores
  • florists
  • sporting goods stores
  • book stores
  • craft stores
  • music stores

Stores that can remain open include (but are not limited to) grocery stores, pharmacies and drug stores, gas stations, hardware stores, auto parts stores, home improvement stores and firearm retailers.

This order will go into effect Monday, April 6 at 5 p.m.

The governor’s other executive order goes into effect immediately.

It suspends short-term rentals throughout the state to people traveling from coronavirus hotspots across the country. This includes hotels, short-term rentals, vacation homes, B&B’s, timeshares, etc.

Members of the military, first responders and commercial transport workers are exempt from this order.

Earlier in the day Friday, the governor ordered the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to share the number of coronavirus cases by zip code.

That zip code list has not yet been updated, but when it is, WIS will share the information.

Friday, DHEC reported 147 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the state’s total to 1,700, with cases in all 46 counties in the state.

So far, 34 people have died after contracting the virus. Most of those people have been elderly, with underlying health conditions, DHEC said. However, one person was middle-aged with no underlying conditions.

(Story continues below interactive map.)

Many people have asked WIS about the number of people who have recovered from the virus in the state, but DHEC has not provided that information, saying they don’t track cases after a person tests positive.

South Carolina is one of only 10 states that remains without a statewide stay-at-home order.

The governor said he is taking a “deliberate approach” and being “as aggressive as possible” to fight the spread of the coronavirus in the state.

McMaster previously ordered the non-essential businesses highlighted in the below picture to close.

CLOSED: Non-essential businesses in South Carolina will close Wednesday under executive order from the governor. READ MORE >> https://bit.ly/2WXbycp

Posted by WIS TV on Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Public schools in the state are closed through April.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is spread mainly from person-to-person by those in close contact, or through coughing and sneezing by someone who’s infected.

Symptoms of the coronavirus can show up between two and 14 days of exposure, health officials say. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

For most people, COVID-19 causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But some severe cases can lead to death.

Most people can recover from the virus at home using over-the-counter medications to treat their symptoms.

Coronavirus: Flattening the curve

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

Young people who contract the virus are not likely to have a serious case, research shows. However, the CDC said about 40% of people who needed to be hospitalized due to the coronavirus are between the ages of 20 and 54.

Those who are hospitalized with serious cases of COVID-19 have trouble breathing, and many need support from ventilators, which breathe for them. The U.S. is working to produce more of the machines to prepare, but experts fear a shortage of the life-saving devices.

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.


Anyone with concerns about their health, or who believes they are showing symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider. Avoid going to the doctor or an emergency room unless the situation is life-threatening.

People without a doctor can take advantage of free online screening from Prisma Health and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).

MUSC has an online platform to aid with coronavirus diagnosis and care. Go to musc.care and access the COVID-19 platform. The service is free with code: COVID19.

Prisma Health also has 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 prismahealth.org/virtual-visit and use promo code COVID19 for a free virtual visit.

For more information on COVID-19, click or tap here to visit the CDC’s website.

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