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SC Gov. McMaster Reopens Tourist Attractions, Lifts Restrictions On Sports In COVID-19 Pandemic

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South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order Wednesday to reopen tourist attractions ahead of Memorial Day weekend and the summer tourism season in the ongoing coronavirus  pandemic.

According to the order, the businesses listed below can reopen starting Friday:

  • Arcades
  • Zoos
  • Museums
  • Aquariums
  • Planetariums
  • Historic buildings and sites
  • Waterparks
  • Amusement park rides
  • Go-Kart tracks
  • Bingo facilities (specific guidelines can be found here)
  • Miniature golf facilities
  • Indoor children’s playgrounds
  • Carnival Rides
  • Pool Halls
  • Roller Skating Rinks

AccelerateSC also published a list of  a list of guidelines for tourist attraction facilities as they reopen beginning May 22.

Entertainment venues such as movie theaters, night clubs, and music venues are still closed, McMaster said in Wednesday’s press conference.

McMaster said the opening of tourist attractions will hopefully disperse crowds to different areas as Memorial Day weekend approaches.

“McMaster also announced that youth and adult sports leagues will be allowed to begin practicing on May 30th, with competitive play resuming on June 15th,” the governor’s office news release said Wednesday.

On Monday, McMaster reopened “close contact service providers” such as salons barber shops, tanning salons and spas, as well as “recreational and athletic facilities/ activities” such as gyms, workout centers, pools, and group classes. Those businesses are encouraged to follow certain social distancing guidelines

Earlier this month, McMaster issued an executive order lifting his previously imposed “home or work” mandate and allowing restaurants to reopen outdoor dining services starting May 4.  He then issued an order that allowed restaurants to open indoor dining at fifty percent capacity.

On Wednesday, SCDHEC announced 125 new cases and eight additional deaths.

“As of this morning, 3,030 inpatient hospital beds are available and 7,209 are in use, which is a 70.41% statewide hospital bed utilization rate. Of the 7,209 inpatient beds currently used, 414 are occupied by patients who have either tested positive or are under investigation for COVID-19,” the SCDHEC news release said.

South Carolina’s daily coronavirus numbers have been anything but consistent throughout the month of May — with cases and deaths not showing neither an increasing or decreasing trend.

Take a look…

However, South Carolina has ramped up its testing. More than 65,000 South Carolinians have been tested in May alone, Dr. Linda Bell of SCDHEC said Wednesday.

Earlier in May, McMaster and S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) officials introduced a multi-step plan with the goal of testing 110,000 residents per month or 2 percent of the population within the next two months.

According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), 485 South Carolinians are projected to die from COVID-19 by Aug. 4.

South Carolina has less coronavirus deaths per capita (9.6 per 100K), compared to Georgia (22.3) and North Carolina (23.8).

State leaders urged South Carolina residents to practice social distancing, wash their hands, and wear a mask when they’re in public.

“It’s important to remember businesses don’t spread the virus, people spread the virus,” Bell said.

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