South Carolina will reopen more on Friday, in time for Memorial Day weekend
Gov. Henry McMaster announced at a press conference Wednesday that attractions such as arcades, museums, water parks and zoos will be allowed to reopen Friday, in time for the Memorial Day weekend.
These businesses must follow an array of guidelines emphasizing the need for social distancing and frequent cleaning of equipment during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Guests will be encouraged — but not required — to wear masks.
Some attractions, such as the sprawling Carowinds amusement park that straddles the border of North Carolina and South Carolina, could reopen but will remain shuttered, possibly for weeks, as preparations to resume operations continue.
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McMaster said opening attractions in places like Myrtle Beach will lessen the potential for overcrowding on beaches, which could increase coronavirus risk, during the holiday weekend.
"There will be more places for (people) to disperse to," he said.
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McMaster had ordered attractions throughout the state to shut down on April 1 as part of a broader strategy to slow the spread of the coronavirus. He has loosened many restrictions on retail stores and restaurants in the past few weeks. Barbershops, beauty salons, fitness centers and other close-contact businesses were allowed to reopen Monday.
"We can't keep things closed forever, of course," McMaster said. "The Constitution doesn't allow it, neither does common sense and neither would the economy."
But the Republican governor stressed that COVID-19 remains a threat.
"This is a dangerous, dangerous disease," he said. "The virus is still here. It is just as strong as it was at the beginning, and we must continue to be very careful."
For now, bowling alleys, concert venues, movie theaters, auditoriums and performing arts centers, night clubs and spectator sports remain closed in South Carolina.
Local youth and adult sports leagues, however, will be allowed to begin practicing on May 30th, with competitive play resuming on June 15th.
Some of the guidelines for these sports include:
► Organizers must maintain a complete list of coaches, players and employees present at each event to include the date, beginning and ending time of the event, plus name, address, and phone contact to be made available upon request from local health departments.
► Activities that increase the risk of exposure to saliva must not be allowed. These activities include but are not limited to spitting, licking fingers, eating or spitting seeds, and use of chewing gum.
► Coaches should wear face coverings at all times. Players should be encouraged to wear face coverings when not actively participating on the field of play, provided the use of a face covering will not otherwise jeopardize the player’s health.
Guidelines for day camps were also unveiled. They include increased screening for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure for participants and employees as well as recommendations that have been promoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for weeks.
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