ByPatrick PhillipsandSydney Pendrick|March 15, 2020 at 11:59 AM EDT - Updated March 15 at 4:25 PM
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said he has ordered all schools, colleges and universities statewide close through at least March 31.
McMaster made the announcement at a news conference Sunday from the South Carolina Emergency Operations Center in West Columbia.
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“This includes pre K through 12, all universities, colleges, and technical colleges,” he said. “School closings are inconvenient, we know that. They’re inconvenient for everybody, for working parents, for families as well as employers.”
He sent a message to parents, asking them to take time to explain to their children how serious COVID-19 is.
“It is time for parents to impress upon their children how important things like social distancing is, keeping your distance from someone coughing, sneezing, that sort of thing; personal hygiene, washing your hands all day long,” he said. “Impress upon the children, how important that is and also that will help us remember ourselves, and we must also explain the importance of limiting exposure to those considered at risk like the elderly or the infirm.”
McMaster also urged that public gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, be limited to 100 people or fewer. That does not include state, or local government meetings or businesses or employers, he said.
He also emphasized there is no shortage of testing capabilities in the labs in South Carolina.
“The DHEC lab and the private labs currently have more than adequate supplies, more than adequate to conduct all the tests we need, and the DHEC lab will be resupplied with more tests this week,” McMaster said. “In addition, the Federal Drug Administration has today approved Medical University of South Carolina for COVID-19 testing. MUSC has said that they will likely start processing these tests in the lab, by the end of this week.”
Horry County possible case brings total S.C. cases to 20
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced a possible case of COVID-19 in Horry County on Sunday morning, bringing the total number of South Carolina cases to 20.
Here is a breakdown of where those cases have been reported:
- Kershaw County: 11
- Beaufort County: 3
- Lancaster County: 2
- Charleston County: 1
- Horry County: 1
- Lexington County: 1
- Spartanburg County: 1
DHEC has monitored 67 people for signs of the illness and completed monitoring on them. It is currently monitoring seven people.
The agency reported that as of Saturday, 154 tests administered had come back negative.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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