S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster issued a new executive order today that lifts restrictions on the occupancy of retail establishments and allows bowling alleys to open immediately.
The move comes a day after the state saw a single-day record of 687 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 additional deaths reported Thursday. That record lasted one day, as the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control announced 770 new cases today, with five additional deaths.
Those numbers brought South Carolina's reported totals to 17,170 cases and 593 deaths.
Dr. Joan Duwve, DHEC director of public health, said during a DHEC board meeting Thursday that 40% of S.C.’s reported cases have been diagnosed in the past three weeks.
“South Carolinians know what they can do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, and it’s incumbent upon each and every one of us to follow the advice and recommendations of the public health experts,” McMaster said in a news release Friday. “We also must continue our methodical approach towards getting South Carolinians back to work and businesses contributing to the state’s economy. Businesses simply can’t be closed indefinitely, but they can operate in a safe way with our collective knowledge of the virus.”
The Response Committee of economic task force AccelerateSC, with advice from DHEC, developed guidelines for bowling alley operation, including social distancing of six feet or more and providing hand sanitizer at each lane.
The executive order (.pdf) also declared a new state of emergency in South Carolina authorizing measures to deal with the pandemic, including a section allowing “law enforcement officers of the state, or any political subdivision thereof, to do whatever may be deemed necessary to maintain peace and good order during the state of emergency and to enforce the provisions of this order and any prior or future orders issued by the undersigned in connection with the present state of emergency.”o