S.C. Governor to declare State of Emergency, order some schools in Midlands to close

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BY MINDY LUCAS

Governor Henry McMaster is expected to declare a state of emergency, and order some schools in the Midlands to close, at a press conference to include state public health officials.

The announcement, which will be made at 5 p.m. today, Friday, March 13, follows President Trump’s earlier announcement declaring a national emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak. 

McMaster will direct schools in Kershaw and Lancaster counties to close for a period of 14 days, according to a media advisory issued Friday afternoon. 

In addition, the governor’s order will direct the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to consult with the state’s Superintendent of Education and local school district leadership to provide guidance on if and when remaining school districts should decide to close schools and for what period of time. 

Additional actions to be included in the governor’s executive order:

  • All state government offices shall remain open for operation during their normal business hour
  • Visitation at state and local correctional facilities in all 46 counties shall be suspended immediately
  • DHEC shall immediately restrict visitation to nursing homes and assisted living facilities with the exception of end of life situations
  • State price gouging laws shall go into effect immediately
  • The State Emergency Management Plan shall be activated