By Patrick Phillips and Ray Rivera | May 6, 2020 at 2:25 PM EDT - Updated May 6 at 2:25 PM
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - Gov. Henry McMaster and state health officials will hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon on the state's fight against COVID-19.
McMaster will speak at 4 p.m. from the University of South Carolina. That's where he has been hosting ongoing meetings of the state's accelerateSC task force.
McMaster reopened restaurants for outdoor dining on Monday, while also lifting the state’s mandatory ‘home or work’ order. He said on Tuesday that he hopes to announce soon when barber shops and dine-in restaurants can reopen.
But it is not clear when he intends to make that announcement during Wednesday’s news conference or whether he will say when close-contact businesses like hair salons, barbershops and gyms will be allowed to reopen to customers.
As South Carolina continues reopening from the coronavirus, the state’s peak of cases has been pushed further into the future with hundreds of additional deaths predicted. The new prediction is for more than 1,100 deaths by early August from COVID-19. Less than two weeks ago, state health officials predicted fewer than 700 deaths by early August.
Meanwhile, health officials are trying to expand testing, especially in areas with more African Americans who represent 27% of the state’s population but 53% of the COVID-19 deaths.
Copyright 2020 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.