While Gov. Henry McMaster has claimed that social distancing is “working” in South Carolina and a stay-at-home order is not necessary at this time amid the coronavirus outbreak, photos across the state showing large crowds tell us otherwise.
Across the state, South Carolina had nearly perfect beach weather this weekend and people from the mountains to the coast were spotted not practicing social distancing.
How many of these people were tourists? It’s hard to tell. Towns such as Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms have taken action restricting non-resident access, but without a statewide no-visitor policy with teeth, South Carolina will be susceptible to more visitors inevitably spreading the disease.
Realtime data provided by Unacast — a company that purchases data from cell phone companies — shows that SC has gotten increasingly worse at social distancing in the past few days.
On March 24, South Carolina got a “B” in social distancing for reducing its average mobility by 34 percent from Feb. 28 through March 21. By March 28, South Carolina’s rating dropped to a “D” as more people have apparently traveled and the state’s average mobility has only been reduced by 18 percent since Feb. 28. The study tracks this by calculating distance traveled through cell phone data.
Why aren’t South Carolinians or its visitors taking this whole COVID-19 thing seriously? While McMaster has urged police departments to disperse groups of three or more people across the state, there is little evidence that plan is working.
As we reported yesterday, the small amount of positive coronavirus cases in South Carolina due to embarrassingly low testing rates could be giving people a false sense of security right now.
South Carolina ranked No. 48 out of fifty states when it came to the true number of citizens getting tested, according to a new “viral database” – CovidTracking.com – as of Sunday afternoon South Carolina. Although, state health officials are hoping to ramp up testing this week.
Whatever it may be, we know that this virus is spread by close contact. These people in large groups are endangering themselves, their loved ones, and their communities. The more large groups we see, the more cases will increase, the more families will suffer.
Take a look at these photos showing large crowds over the weekend.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – where leaders recently voted to restrict hotel bookings, close attractions.
Folly Beach, South Carolina — where town council voted to open beaches back up to visitors on Friday, but then voted re-close beaches after large crowds gathered on Saturday.
Edisto and Seabrook, South Carolina:
Hilton Head Island
Anderson, South Carolina
Greenville, South Carolina
According to the latest numbers, there are now 774 total COVID-19 cases in 40 South Carolina counties after 113 were reported on Sunday. Although, we have frequently pointed out the numbers released by SCDHEC do not represent a complete picture of the spread of the virus in the Palmetto State.
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