SC Gov. Henry McMaster issues new order allowing law enforcement agents to bust up congregations of more than three

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Monday, March 23, 2020

(Source: WIS)

COLUMBIA, SC (WRDW/WAGT) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster says all plans and contingency plans are on the table as the state continues to grip with the coronavirus.

McMaster said he is even considering a shelter-in-place order, but will not go that far yet.

Instead, McMaster is opting for the common sense approach of asking state residents to continue social distancing and rigorous hand washing.

McMaster asked state residents to “redouble” their efforts on social distancing and not congregating.

Still, McMaster issued a new executive order allowing any state law enforcement agents to disperse any congregations of three or more.

McMaster said this effort looks to stymie any congregations of people on the beach, parties, or any non-essential efforts.

"If you don't need to be out, then don't be out. This is a good time to stay home," McMaster said.

South Carolina has 195 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Five people have died as a result of the virus -- with two of those cases being announced by DHEC moments before the news conference.

“We unfortunately have to announce that our state has suffered two more losses related to COVID-19,” Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist, said in a statement. “On behalf of all South Carolinians, we express our deepest sympathy for the families, friends and loved ones of these individuals. We also share gratitude to the medical workers who cared for these individuals to the best of their ability as we all face this new disease together.”

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