McMaster, state officials discuss plan to reopen S.C. at accelerateSC meeting

Published: Apr. 27, 2020 at 11:32 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - State officials met Monday as part of the accelerateSC initiative launched by Gov. Henry McMaster.

AccelerateSC was formed to get input from leaders of various industries on when and how to reopen the state’s economy in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Gov. Henry McMaster, Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette and others participated in the meeting as part of the Governance committee of accelerateSC.

The Governance committee’s purpose is to “identify challenges faced by state and local governments, educational institutions, emergency services and first responders to proceed with economic revitalization.”

Governor Henry McMaster, said it’s time to start planning how to get the SC economy back in shape.

"We're working diligently to get South Carolina back to work, to take us to where we were before, and beyond," he said. "But we must do so safely."

Federal relief funding was a huge topic of concern at the accelerateSC meeting, with Brian Gaines from the Executive Budget Office outlining what those in the public sector need to do to qualify for the $1.9 billion on the table.

"Three highest criteria for those funds are: they have to be necessary expenditures related to COVID-19, they can not be included in your most recently passed appropriations act or budget; for our local government entities. And those expenses must be occurring between March 1-December 30, 2020," Gaines said. "Those funds are for direct reimbursements for any expenditures you may have had related to COVID-19, or things that could be related to the prevention, preparation or treatment of individuals with COVID-19."

With concerns from local law enforcement, still fighting on the front lines...

"I know the federal government recognizes it now, and it's a line of duty death if you die from COVID-19," said Leon Lott from the Richland County Sheriff's Department. "The feds have already kind of laid the groundwork on that, but workers comp is not being universal in our state." concerned city leaders, they're all trying to find a way to live in our new normal.

“Something like hand sanitizers at every table,” said Mayor Hatley from North Myrtle Beach. "Using chalkboards or smart phones for menus instead of handing them the same menu. Food servers do not have to accept cash, there are so many things...that the restaurants can do right now and be able to open back up.

In all, there are five committees involved in accelerateSC: Response, Protection, Governance, Resources, and Information.

For more information on accelerateSC, click or tap here.

The new executive order will remain in effect for 15 days -- until May 12.

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