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SC Gov. Says He Will Announce Plan To Reopen Economy Soon As COVID-19 Outbreak Nears Peak

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McMaster

After a deadly day in South Carolina between coronavirus and violent tornadoes across the state, Gov. Henry McMaster said South Carolina now has two disasters on its hands.

At least nine people died in South Carolina after the powerful storm system swept through the state. Five of those deaths were in Hampton County, South Carolina.

McMaster said the damage that he observed in Seneca, South Carolina was “enormous.” He said officials are working on assessing the damage for disaster declaration and relief. This will require a different emergency declaration from the COVID-19 order in place.

The South Carolina governor addressed the “crushing” economy Monday evening and said he hopes “before long” he will announce a revitalization plan to reopen the economy.

He said officials in South Carolina have been working in a “grand collaboration and cooperation with the Trump administration” on the plan to reopen the economy.

Just in the last four weeks, at least 260,000 people have lost their jobs in South Carolina, McMaster said Monday.

“Every business is essential to somebody, particularly to the ones working there,” McMaster said. “We want to get all these businesses going back.”

McMaster said officials are working with leaders in industries particularly devastated by coronavirus, as well as other state officials, for advise guidance on the plan.

“I want to assure the people of South Carolina, our goal is to save lives, but also to save jobs and save families,” McMaster said.

The S.C. governor said officials are seeing evidence that social distancing is working right now — but “now is not the time to let up.”

On Sunday, McMaster issued an order to extend the state of emergency for another fifteen days.

“All previous orders remain in place for the duration of the emergency, or until the governor announces otherwise,” the governor’s office tweeted on Sunday.

One week ago today, McMaster issued a “home-or-work” executive order, which said South Carolinians must not leave their homes unless working, recreating outdoors, seeing family, or obtaining necessary goods or services.

Gov. Henry McMaster has issued the following orders, punishable by law enforcement:

About two weeks away from the peak of the pandemic’s first wave, South Carolina reported 127 new cases and five additional deaths Monday.

In total, South Carolina has had 3,439 coronavirus cases and 87 deaths since the Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) first started tracking the virus in early March.

As of Monday, South Carolina ranked 34th in the nation for coronavirus testing per capita. A total of 32,764 people in South Carolina have been tested for COVID-19 — with 29,325 negative test results.

SCDHEC recently released cases-per-capita data. Kershaw County — the first epicenter for the virus in South Carolina — has the highest cases per 100 people, followed by Clarendon, Lee, Sumter, and Richland counties.

SCDHEC now predicts that South Carolina will have seen a total of 8,677 cases by May 2.

According to the latest projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle, Washington, 680 South Carolinians are now expected to die from COVID-19. However, the model projects that nearly three times that amount of people — 2,042 — could die from the virus by August.

IHME predicts COVID-19 will hit its peak in South Carolina between April 30 and May 2.

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