April 16, 2020
At his press conference Thursday, Gov. McMaster said that the state is making progress in the fight against COVID-19. Although he cautioned that “we cannot let up,” he said that he expects the state’s economy to “be humming by the end of June.”
He announced that he would be launching an “Accelerate SC” task force next week that would be comprised of industry leaders from manufacturing, hospitality, tourism, agribusiness and others to tap into best practices to get the state’s economy moving again.
He also said he was issuing an executive order to reopen public boat ramps for fishing and recreation. He said that gatherings of more than three people are still prohibited, and that he expected boaters to follow social distancing guidelines.
At the same press conference, Dr. Linda Bell of DHEC announced that the state had 276 new COVID cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of positive COVID cases to 3,931 and 109 deaths. (Beaufort County has 206 positives and 6 deaths.)
Although the elderly are most at risk from this disease, Dr. Bell said that African-Americans in South Carolina also have been disproportionately targeted by this disease, as they are at higher risk for diabetes, asthma, and heart disease, among other things. She said that DHEC is working with local partners, including churches, to get the word out on prevention and risk mitigation to communities of color.