As S.C. COVID-19 cases reached soared this past weekend, Gov. Henry McMaster confirmed that theatres, night clubs, concert halls and spectator sport venues will stay shuttered, but said a statewide mask mandate is not on the horizon.
"We have no plans to lift restrictions on these highly active groups and activities until we see that infection rate go down," McMaster said June 26 as he issued a new declaration of emergency and exhorted people under 40 to remain mindful that they can be an asymptomatic vector for the virus.
McMaster emphasized that social distancing measures and hygiene was "deadly important" in helping stymie infection, especially as sectors of the state economy continue to reopen.
"We did not close as much as other states did," McMaster said during Friday's press conference. "We are still seeing progress in the reopening according to the guidelines from AccelerateSC."
He verified that cities have the legal right to enforce ordinances on face coverings in limited circumstances, but added it was "ineffective, impractical" to implement a statewide mask mandate. An unenforceable mandate would only contribute to a false sense of security, the governor said.
Also on Friday, assisted living and nursing homes were also permitted to allow immediate family members of residents inside for limited visitation.
"We do know and we've known from the beginning the predictions are coming true not having loved ones making those visits, not having people go into the nursing homes of course has reduced the spread (of the virus) we believe, but it has also increased the feeling of isolation and mental emotional strain and other problems," McMaster said.
As new COVID-19 cases and hospital occupancy numbers climbed last week, limitations on elective surgeries were being considered, McMaster said. Recorded cases reached 1,273 Friday, with an additional...