‘Palmetto Priority’ program to focus on restaurant safety
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - Gov. Henry McMaster announced a new program focused on keeping people safe at restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program, called “Palmetto Priority,” is a commitment made by restaurants to provide a safe place for staff and customers to demonstrate real precautions that they are taking to prevent the spread of the virus.
Restaurants that choose to participate will have to complete a checklist of “operational assurances,” participate in required free online education, and participate in a DHEC limited-scope food safety inspection.
“Restaurants that successfully complete the checklist and sign a commitment to their employees and customers will earn the endorsement of the program,” officials said.
According to McMaster, restaurants will then receive a decal showing their participation in the program and that they are fully compliant.
“If you go into a restaurant, and it doesn’t have this decal, go somewhere else,” McMaster said.
The SC Restaurant and Lodging Association will oversee the program, which can be found here, by providing patrons with the opportunity to share their experience, both positive and negative, through a short survey.
The governor was joined by hospitality industry leaders for the announcement.
The news conference comes after several days of record-breaking totals of new COVID-19 cases have been reported.
On Monday, the state reported 1,002 new confirmed cases, but Tuesday’s update from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 890 new confirmed cases.
Earlier on Tuesday, Rep. Wendell Gilliard sent a letter to McMaster urging him to require people to wear face masks in public. But the governor has said on multiple occasions he will not require face masks, something he reiterated during a news conference Monday afternoon in North Charleston.
But he has said he strongly encourages masks be worn around older people.
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