McMaster’s COVID-19 guidelines now required

10 mins read

Free testing event coming to Lady’s Island

By Mike McCombs

Apparently, this time he really means it.

On Saturday, July 29, Gov. Henry McMaster announced in a new Executive Order that all previously recommended guidelines for restaurants, public establishments and gathering places are now mandatory.

These measures went into effect Monday, Aug. 3.

“These limited restrictions are temporary, they are measured, and they are targeted towards what we know works,” McMaster said. “These measures give South Carolina the best chance to slow the spread of the virus without shutting down the state’s economy – which we cannot and will not do – as many continue to call for.”

While once again stopping short of a mandatory mask order, the governor called for citizens to wear face coverings when appropriate, and he encouraged local governments to adopt mask ordinances. And he ordered that face coverings must be worn in all state government buildings, effective Wednesday, Aug. 5.

Among the now-mandatory guidelines for restaurants and bars:

• Operating dine-in services at no more than 50 percent of the certificate of occupancy issued by the fire marshal.

• Employees and patrons shall be required to wear masks or face coverings.

• Tables are to be spaced to keep diners at least six feet apart.

• No more than eight customers per table – unless from the same family.

• Standing or congregating in bar area of restaurant is prohibited.

• Establishments that possess a state permit to sell alcohol shall be subject to these restrictions.

Festivals, parades, concerts, theaters, stadiums, arenas, coliseums, auditoriums, grandstands, amphitheaters, gymnasiums, concert halls, dance, halls, performing arts centers, parks, racetracks, or similarly operated entities are all free to open but must implement AccelerateSC guidelines including, but not limited to, the following:

• Attendance may not exceed 50 percent of the certificate of occupancy issued by the fire marshal – or 250 persons – whichever is less.

• Require the wearing of masks or face coverings as a condition of admission or participation.

• Enact social distancing, cleaning and hygiene practices as recommended by AccelerateSC

• End the sale of alcohol at 11 p.m.

If businesses or event organizers are responsible for events that may exceed the occupancy rules, they can proceed if they can satisfactorily demonstrate compliance with federal and state COVID-19 procedures and protocols.

McMaster’s guidelines don’t, however, apply to religious services, weddings, funerals, schools and colleges, government meetings and voting.

Now you see it, now you don’t

If you drove past Beaufort Memorial Hospital on Sunday or Monday, you may have felt like something was missing. You would’ve been right.

The hospital removed the triage and screening tents set up in the hospital parking lot in front of its Emergency Room entrance.

The tents were removed “in preparation for the weather event,” BMH spokesperson Courtney McDermott said Monday.

In advance of the arrival of Tropical Storm Isaias, McDermott said the tents at the hospital, as well as both express care locations, were taken down because “they were concerned about them being blown away.”

McDermott said it was likely the tents would be up again before The Island News’ press time, though she could not be certain when.

The triage and screening area is for potential COVID-19 cases and is designed to accommodate patients and staff while protecting other ER patients. The tents were erected in late March and are on loan from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Another free testing event

Beaufort Memorial will host a free COVID-19 testing event from 7 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12 at Lady’s Island Middle School at 30 Cougar Drive on Lady’s Island.

Testing is on a first-come, first-served basis, and a physician’s order is not required. BMH staff will collect test specimens using kits supplied by DHEC, which will run all tests through its state laboratory and communicate the results to BMH.

BMH staff will notify patients about their results within 48 hours after DHEC delivers them. Participants should expect to receive results within 5 to 7 days after test collection.

The BMH Infection Prevention team will call anyone who tests positive and provide detailed instructions for self-isolation, self-care and home disinfection. Those who test negative will receive a text notification or phone call.

Participants are encouraged to complete and print the COVID-19 Testing Form ahead of time. Bring the completed form, which can be found on the hospital’s website at BeaufortMemorial.org/FreeCOVID-19TestingEvents, and two additional copies to the event. Forms will also be available onsite.

For more information, visit www.BeaufortMemorial.org.

Holding steady

Over the 14 days leading up to Monday, the daily number of new cases, both statewide and in Beaufort County, has stabilized. The seven-day average ending Monday for new cases was 1,418.1 statewide and 83.3 in Beaufort County. The seven-day average for the previous seven days was 1,449.6 statewide and 83.9 in Beaufort County.

July was deadly

There have been 46 COVID-19-related deaths in Beaufort County through Monday, Aug. 3. Of those 46, 26 came in the month of July.

The local numbers

According to McDermott, as of Monday afternoon, there were 38 COVID-19-positive patients at BMH.

Six of those are in Intensive Care, and five of those are on ventilators.

Hospital numbers

Statewide, there are 1,401 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, with 366 in the ICU and 224 on ventilators. The number of patients on ventilators reached as high as 256 last week.

Of the state’s 1,437 ICU beds, 1,121 are occupied – a percentage of 78.01. That percentage peaked at 81.04 last week.



As of Monday, Aug. 3

S.C. confirmed cases: 92,404

S.C. probable cases: 547

S.C. confirmed deaths: 1,721

S.C. probable deaths: 72

Beaufort County cases: 3,672

Beaufort County deaths: 46*

Last week’s 7-day avg. new cases, state: 1,418.1

Previous week’s 7-day avg. new cases, state: 1,449.6

Two weeks ago’s 7-day avg. new cases, state: 1,860.2

Three weeks ago’s 7-day avg. new cases, state: 1,663.1

Four weeks ago’s 7-day avg. new cases, state: 1,604.1

Five weeks ago’s 7-day avg. new cases, state: 1,263.6

Last week’s 7-day average new cases, county: 83.3

Previous week’s 7-day average new cases, county: 83.9

Two weeks ago’s 7-day average new cases, county: 72.4

Three weeks ago’s 7-day average new cases, county: 72.6

Four weeks ago’s 7-day average new cases, county: 52.4

Five weeks ago’s 7-day average new cases, county: 38.9


Monday, Aug. 3

New S.C. Cases: 1,105

S.C. deaths: 11

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 51

Beaufort Co. deaths: 0

Percent Positive: 15.2

Sunday, Aug. 2

New S.C. Cases: 1,110

S.C. deaths: 27

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 55

Beaufort Co. deaths: 2

Percent Positive: 15.2

Saturday, Aug. 1

New S.C. Cases: 1,491

S.C. deaths: 35

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 76

Beaufort Co. deaths: 1

Percent Positive: 18.5

Friday, July 31

New S.C. Cases: 1,346

S.C. deaths: 45

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 105

Beaufort Co. deaths: 3

Percent Positive: 19.1

Thursday, July 30

New S.C. Cases: 1,636

S.C. deaths: 48

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 113

Beaufort Co. deaths: 3

Percent Positive: 21.5

Wednesday, July 29

New S.C. Cases: 1,666

S.C. deaths: 48

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 97

Beaufort Co. deaths: 3

Percent Positive: 19.9

Tuesday, July 28

New S.C. Cases: 1,573

S.C. deaths: 52

New Beaufort Co. Cases: 86

Beaufort Co. deaths: 1

Percent Positive: 18.1

Staff from Beaufort Memorial Hospital were busy testing local residents for Covid-19 on Wednesday, July 29 at Battery Creek High School. Chris Haley, Emergency Manager at BMH, said 30 hospital staff members, about a dozen S.C. Army National Guardsmen from Charleston and deputies with Beaufort Country Sheriff’s Office’s Beaufort County Command Center were there to help things run smoothly. Some 410 tests were given without a hitch. Haley said the testing ran as smoothly as “a well oiled machine.” Photo by Bob Sofaly.



Latest from Blog


Woman’s love of Beaufort redeemed I love Beaufort, because of the people. My daughter and I…