Coronavirus in SC: Answering your questions about the 'home or work' order
Under a mandatory order issued by Gov. Henry McMaster, all South Carolina residents need to stay home or at work unless they're visiting family, exercising or obtaining essential goods or services. McMaster said the intent is to curb the rising number of coronavirus cases in South Carolina. Violating the order is a misdemeanor that carries up to 30 days in jail or a $100 fine for each day of violation.
Read the full order at the bottom of this story
The order came just a few days after McMaster added about a dozen more types of businesses to his list of non-essential businesses that would be required to close to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in South Carolina.
The order will not impact residents' ability to exercise outside or go for a walk as a family, for example. Anyone who is outside to exercise or engaging in recreational activities should stay 6 feet apart if they are not members of the same household, according to the executive order announced Monday.
With the governor's long list of non-essential business closures, many people wondered aloud and on social media what exactly is different about the new home or work order?
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Is playing golf permitted? Are golf courses considered essential business?
Golf courses are not on Gov. McMaster's list of nonessential businesses. This means they are allowed to operate. However, it's a good idea to call a golf course office before you go, to check on hours and expectations. As with any other permitted activity, golfers will still need to practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet between themselves.
I would like to know if travel between counties is prohibited. I’ve a family member in Anderson and I live in greenwood but twice a week I check on him in his home. Could I be fined for this activity?
The order does not lay out any specific restrictions on traveling between counties and it does specifically allow for visits to family.
Is there a specific time when I have to buy groceries?
The order does not specify a time to shop. You are OK to visit essential businesses during their operating hours.
Will drive thru food pick up from fast food still be allowed?
Yes. Drive-thru, take-out, curbside pick-up and delivery are all encouraged methods for anyone who needs food not prepared at home.
I am suppose to go home for Easter for a couple days. Then drive back. Would that be a problem?
This one depends on where home is. The order allows for visits to family, however, the governor has mandated anyone coming to or returning to SC from virus hotspots like New York and New Orleans to self-isolate for 14 days upon reaching SC.
Can I still pick up groceries?
Yes. This order does not prohibit anyone from picking up necessary supplies and services for family or household members. That means it's OK to leave your home to pick up food, medical supplies, medication, or supplies needed to work from home as well as anything necessary to maintain your home. The order does, however, include a preference for online ordering, home delivery and curbside pick-up services when possible.
Can I exercise with friends?
The order does allow people to exercise, but it has some stipulations. If you're exercising with people with whom you don't share a residence, you're asked to maintain a distance of six feet or more. So a game of pick-up basketball with friends from across town is not an option. Playing H.O.R.S.E. in your driveway with a family member who lives with you would be OK.
Can I attend regular church services?
This one is complicated. Gov. McMaster stopped short of mandating the closure of churches, synagogues and other houses of worship. In fact, attending religious services at these facilities is considered an essential activity, but the governor is encouraging all places of worship to practice social distancing whether through online services or other means.
The order allows for recreating, what does that include?
The state Department of Natural Resources tackled a few common questions related to outdoor recreation under the home or work order with a helpful graphic.
DNR says hunting and fishing are still permitted, as long as individuals who don't live together stay six feet apart. The order does not mean public access to waterways and lakes will reopen for use, according to DNR.
One of the biggest differences is enforcement. Violating the new order would be considered a misdemeanor punishable by a $100 fine or up to 30 days in jail.
Another key change is new limits on occupancy inside essential businesses. McMaster directed all retail businesses remaining open to limit customers inside to no more than five customers per 1,000 square feet or 20% of the store's maximum capacity.
No additional businesses will be ordered to close in South Carolina, according to Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette.
As of Tuesday afternoon, DHEC reported 2,417 positive cases of coronavirus in SC and 51 deaths of people who tested positive for the virus.
SC coronavirus map:A county-by-county look at COVID-19 cases
McMaster's home or work order goes into effect Tuesday and will remain in effect for the duration of the State of Emergency unless otherwise modified, amended, or rescinded by subsequent Order.
Do you have questions about what is or isn't allowed according to the new home or work order? Email Elizabeth at email@example.com