Coronavirus updates in SC: Governor Henry McMaster implores state to 'Wear your mask'
Note: The coronavirus outbreak is a rapidly developing event, and this story contains information that was only updated through June 26, 2020. Some of the information here may have changed because of the breaking nature of the pandemic; updates are reflected in more current stories. For the latest on the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on South Carolina visit greenvillenews.com or independentmail.com.
SC COVID-19 map:County-by-county look at coronavirus cases
Coronavirus noticias en Carolina del Sur: Empresas que suponen contacto cercano pueden reabrir
Spike of COVID-19 cases continues across SC and in Greenville
The state Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 1,273 confirmed new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the second highest daily total since the pandemic began. Of those new cases, 187 were reported in Greenville County.
The number of cases in South Carolina has jumped 152% this month to a current total of 30,623.
One additional death was reported Friday, bringing the state's total to 694.
DHEC also reported that 906 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, a new one-day high.
14 football players among 19 more Clemson athletes who test positive for COVID-19
Nineteen more Clemson student-athletes, including 14 football players, have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to numbers released by the university on Friday.
All 120 players on the Tigers’ football roster have been tested, with 37, or 30.8 percent, having tested positive.
Parent survey shows many in Greenville wary of return to school
Many families across Greenville County are wary about sending their children back to school in the fall, according to a survey by Greenville County Schools.
More than half – or about 55% – of 27,786 survey respondents said they either would not send their children back to school or they were unsure if they would. There are about 40,000 families and about 78,000 students in the Greenville County school district.
Gov. McMaster says SC has enough hospital beds
At a 4 p.m. press conference Friday, Governor Henry McMaster implored South Carolinians to "Wear your mask. Wear your mask. Wear your mask."
He said that concert venues, performing arts centers and spectator sports in South Carolina will remain shut down until the state's COVID-19 infection rate drops.
Despite an ongoing surge in COVID-19 patients, McMaster reassured South Carolina residents that the state is not running out of hospital beds.
He also said that he is instructing the state Department of Health and Environmental Control to devise a plan for visitations to resume at South Carolina's nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Watch the full press conference in the video player below.
Spartanburg requires masks
Masks will be required inside grocery stores and pharmacies in the city of Spartanburg starting at noon on Monday.
Spartanburg City Council unanimously approved an emergency ordinance on the measure Friday afternoon.
The ordinance, which also mandates for all employees of restaurants and retailers in the city to wear masks, comes as COVID-19 cases continue to rise each day statewide, and after similar orders already have been issued in the cities of Greenville and Columbia.
“We’ve done a lot of encouraging, I think now we have to move forward and pass something that requires it,” Councilwoman Erica Brown said.
Council members were split on when this ordinance should take effect. Councilwoman Meghan Smith suggested it go into place at 5 p.m. Saturday, but Councilman Jerome Rice made a motion for Monday at noon to give businesses and residents time to adjust to the requirements.
Masks to be distributed to local businesses
Greenville city will distribute approximately 100,000 masks to local businesses Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Greenville Convention Center.
Mask pickup will be drive-thru style at the entrance off Tower Drive and Exposition Drive, near the downtown airport. Businesses will be limited to 100 masks each while supplies last.
Mask recipients will be required to sign the Greater Greenville Pledge. The pledge is a commitment by businesses to clean frequently, limit capacity, encourage social distance, monitor employee health and encourage face covering.
Clemson students will need to wear masks this fall
Anyone on Clemson University's campus this fall will be required to wear a face mask in most settings, the university announced Friday.
The university will also require that students and staff test negative for the coronavirus five days before arriving on campus. Anyone who tests positive will have to self-isolate for 10 days.
Artisphere has been canceled for 2020
The 16th annual Artisphere presented by TD Bank has been canceled for 2020. It had been rescheduled from May to August 21-23 but festival organizers cited concerns about the health and safety of artists and patrons for the decision. The organizers will look to virtual platforms to present this year’s event.
“After months of careful deliberation, we feel that cancelling the event is the right thing to do for our artists and patrons,” Linda Hannon, President, Artisphere Board of Directors, said in a press release. “Asking artists to travel from across the country to Greenville isn’t prudent at this time and the social distancing protocols we would want to put in place to keep patrons safe would restrict festival attendance by 80%. It would not be the experience Greenville residents and visitors have come to expect from Artisphere. We are confident this is the right decision for our organization.”
Details concerning a virtual experience will be available on artisphere.org and Artisphere social media channels.
Clemson has had 23 of 120 football players test positive
Although nearly one out of every five players on Clemson’s football roster have tested positive for the coronavirus, the university doesn't believe that a recent demonstration organized by members of the team is to blame.
All 120 players on the Tigers’ football roster have been tested, with 23, or 19.2 percent, testing positive as of Thursday.
Many child care centers could close permanently
The economic fallout from the coronavirus may cause many child care centers to close permanently.
But, this is not surprising to those in the industry.
"It was always a weak industry, and it was very vulnerable," said Jamie Moon, president of the Institute for Child Success, a Greenville-based policy and research organization. "The pandemic has only served to highlight that vulnerability, and it's really a shame because it's such a critical part of having a robust economy."
What to know Friday
- The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced 1,106 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state as well as 8 additional deaths. Charleston County led the state with 208 new cases.
- With the surge in hospitalized patients battling COVID-19 symptoms in South Carolina, local health officials say they’ve burned through a stockpile of blood plasma, which is being used in a clinical trial to boost patients’ ability to fight off the virus.
- South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said late Wednesday that he believes Greenville and Columbia acted lawfully when the cities approved emergency measures this week requiring people to wear masks in certain public settings.
- Greenville County Schools suspended summer practices by athletic teams until pandemic numbers improve, and postponing Academic Recovery Camps until at least July 20.
- In the claim week ending June 20, 17,098 people filed their initial claim for unemployment insurance. This is a decrease of 2,268 initial claims from the week prior.